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Cameron White has been called up to Australia’s ODI squad for the upcoming series against England as a replacement for fellow batsman Chris Lynn.
Lynn was ruled out of the series with a calf injury, but speculation was rife that Glenn Maxwell would be the frontrunner to fill the vacant spot.
Instead of picking Maxwell, who has scored two half-centuries in his last three innings for the Melbourne Stars in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL), the national selectors opted to go for White, who is currently playing for the Melbourne Renegades.
White last played ODI cricket in January 2015, but given his consistent performances on the domestic circuit, the selectors decided to give him another opportunity to prove his worth.
“He’s in very good form as his figures demonstrate, he’s playing very well,” national selector Trevor Hohns was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au. “He’s one of the leading run-scorers in the KFC BBL, he’s experienced, he’s a very smart cricketer and he’s a good fielder.
“He ticks all the boxes for what we need at this stage.”
White himself admitted that he was shocked to have been included in the squad for the five-match series, which begins on January 14 in Melbourne.
“I was very surprised this morning when Trevor Hohns rang me. I’m really looking forward to the opportunity,” White was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun. “I probably did (think his national career was over) but in the back of my mind I never really gave up all hope. It’s something I have always wanted to do, get back and have another go at it.
“I’m just grateful for the chance and now it’s up to me whether I make the most of it.”
Foxsports.com.au further quoted White as saying: “We’ve all seen Ashton Turner and D’Arcy Short and these guys play and to be honest with you I was expecting one of those guys to get the call-up. I’m very happy that it’s me and I’ve got an opportunity. It was a surprise no doubt.
“I’m a better player now than when I last played. I’ve said in the past that I’ve always wanted another opportunity to play for Australia … I thought it was a long way away but in the back my mind I always had hope.”
While the 34-year-old is no doubt over the moon to have been granted an opportunity to revive his international career, Maxwell will be utterly dejected to have missed out.
When the squad for the series was first announced, Australia captain Steve Smith raised eyebrows when he said that Maxwell needed to “train a little bit smarter” and cut out all the “funky stuff”.
However, Maxwell played down rumours of a feud between him and Smith.
Even White admitted that Maxwell has done everything possible to capture the attention of the selectors.
“I think what you’ve seen from Glenn this year through performance just shows where his game’s at,” White said. “He’s probably now getting a real good understanding of what consistent runs looks like and he’s now in really good form … He’s doing everything right there it seems to me.”