Langer defends decision of picking Kane Richardson over Josh Hazlewood

Dubai [UAE], May 20 (ANI): Australia coach Justin Langer has backed the decision of giving Kane Richardson a World Cup call instead of Josh Hazlewood after Jhy Richardson sustained a shoulder injury during their five-match one-day international (ODI) series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. "He just hasn't been playing any [T20 and one-day] cricket. He's come off a second stress fracture in his back and while he's just starting to get up and running in the nets now, I think he's played six white ball games in the last 18 months," ICC quoted Langer, as saying.Although Langer praised Hazlewood but said that the 28-year old pacer has not played enough cricket over the last 18 months which played a role in overlooking him."We know he's a great bowler. He's a brilliant bowler, but it was just such bad timing for him. He's a terrific bloke, he's been vice-captain of the team. He's a brilliant bowler ... his numbers over the last four years have been good. But over the last 18 months, he just hasn't played enough," he said."I'm sure he's disappointed. There's a few guys who are disappointed not to be in the squad. Hopefully through the Australia A series he can start playing cricket again ... We can't wait to welcome him back," Langer added.Australia will face Afghanistan in their first World Cup 2019 clash on June 1. (ANI)

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