SYDNEY (Reuters) - Young fast bowler Pat Cummins will travel with the Australia A squad on their tour of England as part of his recuperation from a back injury but will not play any matches, Cricket Australia said on Friday.
Cummins, who turned 20 on Wednesday, is the great hope of Australian pace bowling but injury has prevented him from donning the baggy green cap since he took seven wickets in a remarkable test debut in South Africa in October 2011.
The latest problem is a strain to his upper back sustained last October but he has continued to be awarded central contracts by CA, most recently last month.
“Depending on his continued progression, he may play in intra-squad and warm up matches if this is deemed appropriate based on his workloads but there is no intention for Pat to play in any of the tour games,” CA’s Pat Howard said in a news release.
“The aim is to have Pat available and prepared for Australia A series in South Africa in July/August.”
CA are determined that Cummins will not be harmed long-term by being rushed back into action when he is not ready and have been heavily protective of him since he emerged onto the international scene as a teenager.
Cummins missed out on a place in the Australia senior squad for the first Ashes series but a successful A tour of South Africa would put him in the frame to play a part in the second series against England back in Australia later in the year.
England and Australia are playing back-to-back Ashes series this year to move the series out of its position directly ahead of the World Cup in the international cricket calendar.
The Australia A squad will depart for Britain on 25 May.
Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien