Men's ODI World Cup 2019

Hazlewood opens up on World Cup snub

Fast bowler can see why he was omitted and will instead focus on preparing for Australia's Ashes campaign


15 May 2019, 09:49 AM AEST

Bitterly disappointed to be twice overlooked for the World Cup, Josh Hazlewood hopes selectors keep him in mind if Australia need a mid-tournament replacement.

Excluding Hazlewood, the world's top-ranked ODI bowler in 2017 and part of Australia's 2015 World Cup triumph, from the 15-man squad was arguably the boldest and most contentious call that selectors made last month.

Trevor Hohns' panel doubled down on that snub last week, calling up Kane Richardson rather than Hazlewood when Jhye Richardson (dislocated shoulder) was forced to withdraw from the tournament in England starting on May 30.

Selectors felt Hazlewood, recovering from the back injury he suffered in January, wouldn't have enough games under his belt and should instead focus on being cherry ripe for the Ashes that start on August 1.

The right-armer proved his fitness by coming off his long run last week, troubling captain Aaron Finch and other teammates in the nets during a training camp in Brisbane, and was confident he could produce his best at the World Cup.

"It was obviously bitterly disappointing," Hazlewood told AAP.

"It only comes around every four years. I was lucky enough to experience it on home soil last time. It'll probably hit me a bit once the tournament starts and you're watching on TV.

"It's pretty hard. It's not just a normal ODI series, it's a World Cup.

"Not playing cricket for four months went against me. I can see their side of things."

Full highlights: Smith, Maxi on song

Hazlewood acknowledged that international cricket would be a step up compared to practice but felt he was "pretty close to 90-95 per cent" at Allan Border Field last week.

The vice-captain has been included in an Australia A squad that will tour England prior to the Ashes, with the first of their five 50-over games starting on June 20.

It means Hazlewood will be acclimatised for the final five weeks of the World Cup - and ready to answer selectors' call should anything happen to one of the incumbent quicks.

"I guess if someone went down halfway through the tournament then my chances would be a bit better (compared to last week)," Hazlewood said.

"You never know."

Finch praised Hazlewood's rhythm and pace in the nets last Friday but wasn't sure whether the 28-year-old would be on standby for the World Cup.

"It's a good question. I don't have an answer," Finch said.

Hazlewood is giving little thought to such a possibility, preferring to pour all all his energy into preparation for the five-Test series in England that starts on August 1.

"It'll obviously mean I have a few more four-day games with the Dukes ball in England, so that's going to be fantastic for me," he said.

"And probably put me a step ahead of a few other guys who are only going to get the one red-ball game before the Ashes."

Finch's squad spent the past few days visiting WWI sites in Gallipoli but will start training in England later this week as they prepare for a June 1 World Cup opener against Afghanistan.

Australia A tour of the UK

Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Matthew Wade, Will Pucovski, Peter Handscomb, Ashton Turner, Mitch Marsh (vc), D'Arcy Short, Kurtis Patterson, Ashton Agar, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Kane Richardson, Sean Abbott

Australia A four-day squad: Tim Paine (c), Marcus Harris, Kurtis Patterson, Will Pucovski, Travis Head (vc), Peter Handscomb, Matthew Wade, Mitch Marsh, Michael Neser, Jon Holland, James Pattinson, Jackson Bird, Josh Hazlewood (vc), Chris Tremain

One-day fixtures:

June 20: Australia A v Northamptonshire, The County Ground, Northamptonshire

June 23: Australia A v Derbyshire, County Ground, Derby

June 25: Australia A v Worcestershire, New Road, Worcester

June 30: Australia A v Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol

July 2: Australia A v Gloucestershire, Bristol Country Ground, Bristol

Four-day fixtures:

July 7-10: Australia A v Sussex, Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, Arundel

July 13-16: Australia A v England Lions, The Spitfire Ground, Canterbury

July 23-26: Australia v Australia A, Ageas Bowl, Hampshire