Ashes squad members to bolster Perth Scorchers, Brisbane Heat for regular-season finale

Headshot of Jordan McArdle
Jordan McArdleThe West Australian
Perth Scorchers star Mitch Marsh could return as soon as this week from Ashes duties.
Camera IconPerth Scorchers star Mitch Marsh could return as soon as this week from Ashes duties. Credit: Steve Bell/Getty Images

Perth’s regular-season finale against Brisbane at Marvel Stadium on Monday could become a star-studded affair with as many as four Australian Ashes squad members poised to return.

The Scorchers, who can seal top spot with a win, are set to welcome back powerful allrounder Mitch Marsh and gloveman Josh Inglis, while their opponents will be boosted by the expected inclusion of leg-spinner Mitch Swepson and paceman Michael Neser.

Marsh will be a massive inclusion after 255 runs and three player-of-the-match performances in five appearances in BBL10.

Cricket Australia later confirmed the quartet would be released and fly on a charter flight from Hobart to Melbourne.

“My understanding is that we’re hopeful we’ll get Mitch and Josh available for the Brisbane Heat game on Monday night,” Scorchers coach Adam Voges said.

“That hasn’t been absolutely confirmed yet but my understanding is that they’re hopefully going to be on a plane tomorrow along with the Brisbane Heat guys that are in Hobart as well.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 17: Michael Neser of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Haseeb Hameed of England for 6 runs during day two of the Second Test match in the Ashes series between Australia and England at the Adelaide Oval on December 17, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)
Camera IconTest seamer Michael Neser could return from the Brisbane Heat. Credit: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

“Hopefully that will add a little bit of extra spice to that match, we’re really looking forward to getting those guys back.

“Once they get on the plane tomorrow I’ll be a lot happier.”

Voges was hopeful reigning Simon Katich medallist Jhye Richardson would be available for finals in a further boost to the side’s hopes of a record fourth Big Bash title.

“Jhye might be after the Test series but we’re hopeful of getting him back for finals,” Voges said.

“I had a good chat with Jhye the other day and he’s keen to be involved.

“He’s been part of that Test bubble the whole time and he’s only played one game so I think he’ll actually be keen to play to play some cricket in the lead up to Australia’s white-ball series (against New Zealand and Sri Lanka).

“Hopefully he can come in and play a couple of nice finals for us and then he’ll be cherry ripe for the ODI series (starting January 30).”

The Scorchers will take a cautious approach with in-form allrounder Ashton Agar, who missed Friday’s loss to Adelaide Strikers with a “minor issue” with his left shoulder.

“We’re hopeful, it’s just a really minor issue with Ashton’s bowling shoulder,” Voges said.

“We didn’t want to take any risks the other day in Adelaide and we’ll monitor him over the next 24-48 hours.

“If we feel like he needs a bit more of an extended break to make sure that he’s 100 per cent ready to go for finals, then we’ll make that call at the time but I know that he was desperate to play the other day.”

Voges said English import Laurie Evans was “pretty sore” after a nasty big toe injury while batting against the Strikers.

Evans didn’t take the gloves as expected and went for scans.

“He had scans yesterday and he’s pretty sore,” Voges said.

“We’ll just check to see the results of that... if you don’t see him out there on Monday night, you’ll probably know there’s a fracture in there.

“We’ll manage that as best we can, there’s ways that we can get him up for that if we need to but we’ll just play that out over the next 24 hours.”

New Zealander Colin Munro has recovered from COVID-19 and will re-join the group in Melbourne on Saturday night.

Munro still needs to be cleared fitness-wise after spending a week in hotel isolation in Coffs Harbour.

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