Short-staffed: 9-player Australia wins T20 World Cup warmup match against Namibia

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (AP) — Australia’s first Twenty20 World Cup warmup match started in bizarre circumstances on Tuesday when the team could only field nine squad members instead of the regulation 11 for its game against Namibia, forcing a chief selector and coach to take the field.

At Trinidad’s Queen’s Park Oval, the Australians won easily, anyway. After restricting Namibia to 119-9 after the African side was sent in to bat, Australia, led by opener David Warner’s 54 not out, scored 123-3 in 10 overs and won by seven wickets.

Selection chief George Bailey and fielding coach Andre Borovec were on the field in unmarked shirts when the match began to make up the numbers after Australia captain Mitch Marsh won the toss.

The Australians were still without six World Cup squad members — Pat Cummins, Travis Head, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Starc, Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green. They were given some time off back in Australia following their Indian Premier League duties.

The 41-year-old Bailey is a former international cricketer and was one of Australia’s best fielders in his playing days. The 46-year-old Borovec is a former wicketkeeper for Geelong in the Victorian Premier Cricket league.

Later, Cricket Australia reported that Bailey and Borovec were joined by batting coach Brad Hodge and head coach Andrew McDonald when Marsh and Josh Hazlewood spent time off the field.

Australia will likely also be shorthanded for its second and final warmup game against West Indies on Thursday at the same venue. None of the ICC warmup matches are official T20 internationals.

“Obviously, we didn’t have a full quota of players but the guys who played, probably a few of us needed to coming off a big layoff,” Hazlewood told the Cricket Australia website. “I know a number of the bowlers were coming off a long break which is pretty unusual in our system, but it’s good to get out there, playing is always different to training.”

Earlier Tuesday, two T20 tournament warmup matches in England and Dallas, Texas were washed out.

The T20 World Cup begins on Saturday and is being staged in the United States and the Caribbean.


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