Maxwell to put national duties ahead of Big Bash

MELBOURNE Stars coach Greg Shipperd says he is willing to put country ahead of club after national selectors withdrew destructive hitter Glenn Maxwell from the Stars' looming Big Bash League derby against the Renegades.

Maxwell, a member of Australia's squad at the recent World Twenty20, was due to face his former team for the first time on Friday night at Etihad Stadium.

Instead, the 24-year-old will feature in a three-day tour match against Sri Lanka starting on Thursday in Canberra after being called up to the Cricket Australia Chairman's XI line-up.

Like last year's Chairman's XI team, this year's squad primarily features players who either do not have BBL contracts or are contracted but are unlikely to be first-choice players.

Chairman's captain Usman Khawaja is likely to be a first-choice player for Sydney Thunder, based on his impressive Ryobi Cup form for Queensland, but it is certain Maxwell would have been in the Stars' team had it not been for the call-up.

Chief selector John Inverarity said the pair, along with the Renegades' Alex Doolan and Stars' Scott Henry, had been "released from their BBL franchises to take this opportunity to further their experience in the longer form of the game".

The selection of Khawaja and Doolan is easily justifiable because of the vacancy in the Test batting order created by Ricky Ponting's retirement.

Maxwell has been primarily selected as a spinner, despite not yet having the bowling proficiency to challenge Nathan Lyon for his position.

The selection of Maxwell and, to a lesser extent, Henry could worsen an emerging selection headache for the Stars. James Pattinson is injured, Test team members John Hastings and Matthew Wade's participation will depend on CA approval while seamer Clint Mckay is yet to play since injuring a hamstring almost a month ago – but is due to play in an intraclub match on Monday.

Coach Shipperd said the timing of Maxwell's call-up was challenging but he was nevertheless willing to support Maxwell's call-up.

"Our initial indication was that key [BBL] players weren't going to be playing, but I suppose their decision is out of necessity for their future plans. National selectors probably see Big Bash as just an annoying aside to their program," Shipperd said.

"They did indicate by picking him in the previous [Australia A] three-day game that there is interest in him as a spinner and they want to see him against the best.

"If you're thinking forward [his selection is justified]. Yes, it might not be Bellerive but it might be Sydney . . . or [next year's tour of] India they're looking at. I've got to cop that one on the chin and say 'Well, it's not great for the Stars but Test cricket is the priority and we're looking for some combinations for that'."

SQUAD: Usman Khawaja (c – Qld), Luke Butterworth (Tas), Alex Doolan (Tas), Matthew Gale (Qld), Marcus Harris (WA), Travis Head (SA), Scott Henry (NSW), Glenn Maxwell (Vic), Chadd Sayers (SA), Dean Solway (ACT), Ashton Turner (WA), Sam Whiteman (WA).

This story Maxwell to put national duties ahead of Big Bash first appeared on The Age.