South-Australian quick Chadd Sayers has been left bitterly disappointed after missing out on the 16-man test squad touring South Africa.
Sayers was overlooked in favour of pace duo Jackson Bird and Jhye Richardson, despite the latter only having played five Sheffield Shield games.
Sayers, who has taken 246 wickets at an average of 23.56 in recent Shield seasons, was included in the squad for the first two Ashes Tests yet couldn’t find his way onto the plane to South Africa.
The paceman revealed to radio station 5AA that he’d tried to contact chief selector Trevor Hohns over his omission, but to no avail.
“I guess that’s one of the disappointing things, that I haven’t had a phone call to actually find out why I was left out,” Sayers told 5AA.
“It would be nice to know.
“I found out on social media so I guess that’s one of the disappointing things.
“Not being in the touring party and being dropped from the squad, I was involved in The Ashes, was also disappointing but not to have had a chance to find out why is hard to take.
“I have tried to call him (Hohns).
“Hopefully he gets back to me tonight and I can have a chat to him and can get some clarity on how Jhye Richardson, who has only played five Shield games, was picked ahead of me.
“I’d like to know where I stand in Cricket Australia’s eyes and where I can get in their side. It’s quite hard to take at the moment.
“I’m just disappointed and just want some clarity.”
Hohns spoke about the selectors reasoning for the selection, hinting that Richardson’s pace got him the nod over Sayers.
“He’s bowled very well, he’s got good pace and pretty good control we think,” Hohns said.
“He’s certainly a player of the future. He offers a pretty good package too, by the way.
“He’s a good fielder and he’s pretty handy with the bat. We see a good future for him particularly given that he just seems to have that little bit of extra pace which may well be required in South Africa.
“Chadd is performing well, as he always does, but with Jackson Bird there he has the jump on Chadd at the moment, there’s no doubt about that.
“We have him, Josh Hazlewood is a well-renowned seam bowler then we have the good pace of Starc, Cummins and Jhye Richardson.”
Despite conceding the trio of Cummins, Starc and Hazlewood were clearly above him in the pecking order, Sayers was confident that his style of bowling would have thrived in South African conditions, adding to his disappointment.
“I thought South Africa would have been perfect for my bowling with the conditions over there,” Sayers said.
“You watch Vernon Philander go about his business as he does, he takes a lot of wickets in South African conditions.
“Being a realist, the big three are always going to play if they’re fit.
“Every time Jackson Bird has been picked in the squad I think he’s done reasonably well and that’s why they keep going back to him. And I guess it’s exciting for Jhye Richardson to get his shot.
“To not be touring with that squad and for a young kid to come in, I’m back in the pecking order now.
“I’ve just got to go back to South Australia again and hopefully we can turn around our form in the back half of the year, win a few games and get ourselves back in the Shield final.
“You can be disappointed, but you can’t whinge. It’s not Jhye Richardson’s fault for getting picked, it’s exciting for him to be involved in the Australian system and he’ll love his first tour.
“I’ll be going back to training, trying to get better every day and keep performing.”
The first test between South Africa and Australia starts on March 1 in Durban.