The decision to exclude Stoinis from the ODI squad was not unexpected, as discussions with coach Andrew McDonald and selector George Bailey had been ongoing for months, even predating his absence from the playing XI in the ODI World Cup final in Ahmedabad.
Demonstrating commendable sportsmanship, Stoinis supported the inclusion of Aaron Hardie, understanding the need for a balance between retaining a core group and introducing new talent after the World Cup. This reflects his commitment to Australian cricket and the understanding of the team’s evolving dynamics.
“I had a few conversations with Andrew McDonald over the last sort of four to six months,” he was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Spoke to George as well. In terms of selections, in terms of the fact that Hardie’s coming in, I think that’s brilliant. I think it makes complete sense after a World Cup. There needs to be a balance between keeping a core, and bringing new guys in. The next tournament that they’re looking forward to is the Champions Trophy, which is 18 months away.
“I’ve got no intention of retiring from international cricket or anything like that. I think it makes complete sense. He’s (Hardie) been playing brilliantly. He also needs to be exposed in international cricket which I think he’s ready for. I’ll be going to South Africa to play for my IPL franchise Lucknow over there which Cricket Australia has been in the loop with the whole time. So I think it all makes sense to be honest,” he added.
As of now, Stoinis is with the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL), and his team is on the brink of qualifying for the finals. The Melbourne Stars have two more home and away games scheduled for January 13 and 15. If they perform well in these remaining matches, they will secure a spot in the BBL finals, which are scheduled to be played from January 19 to 24.
Durban’s Super Giants start their SA20 season on January 12. Stoinis could be available for as many as seven SA20 games or as few as four if Stars reach the BBL decider on January 24.
Stoinis is also hoping to be selected for Australia’s three-match T20I series against West Indies in Australia starting on February 9, which would rule him out of the SA20 finals which run from February 7 until February 11.
“I’ve got every intention to play T20 cricket for Australia as long as I can, as long as they want me,” Stoinis said. “I feel like my international and T20 (franchise) cricket has been good over the last whatever period. And I’ve got a great relationship with the boys in the team and also with the likes of Timmy David and Wadey (Matthew Wade) and Ingo (Josh Inglis), that group that bat in the middle order, which I think is what we’re trying to nurture as a team to build towards the big tournaments.
(With IANS inputs)