National selectors have overlooked Marcus Stoinis once again, preferring to call up D’Arcy Short after Glenn Maxwell was booked in for elbow surgery that will force him to miss this month’s tour of South Africa.
Short will fly out later this week after replacing Maxwell in Australia’s Twenty20 and ODI squads.
Maxwell will have arthroscopic surgery on Thursday then spend six to eight weeks on the sidelines, suggesting he will be racing the clock to be fit for this year’s Indian Premier League.
Scans revealed some loose fragments of bone within Maxwell’s elbow joint.
It is an untimely setback for the star, who hasn’t played for Australia since October 2019.
Maxwell took a mental-health break early in the season but returned with a bang during the BBL.
Stoinis fell out of favour with selectors after last year’s World Cup but his stocks also recently went up, having finished the BBL’s leading run-scorer with 705 runs at 54.23.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns last week announced the touring party for South Africa, suggesting Stoinis had been unlucky to miss out and would be a standby player for each squad.
But when a line was put through Maxwell’s name on Wednesday, Hohns’ panel opted to summon another of the four standby options they identified last week.
Short, who has played four ODIs and is one of many players battling for spots in Australia’s squad for this year’s T20 World Cup, bowls left-arm spin and was regarded as more of a like-for-like replacement for Maxwell.
“We are disappointed to lose Glenn this close to the tour as we were looking forward to welcoming him back,” Hohns said in a statement.
“An opportunity has now presented itself for D’Arcy and we’re confident he’ll make the most of whatever opportunities come his way in South Africa.
“Like Glenn, D’Arcy is an inventive, hard-hitting batsman who offers a handy spin-bowling option. We have no doubt he will make a positive contribution to the squad.”
Maxwell was playing through the pain of his sore elbow during the latter stages of the BBL, but it felt notably worse on the weekend.
“Representing Australia is the highest honour in cricket and something I cherish,” Maxwell said.
“I was not confident that I could perform at international level with my elbow in its current state and have decided to undergo surgery straight away to fix the issue.
“I would like to thank (coach) Justin Langer, (high-performance manager) Ben Oliver, Trevor Hohns and the whole Australian squad for their understanding.”
This year’s IPL, when Maxwell will represent Kings XI Punjab after being snapped up for $2.2 million in the auction, starts on March 29