Pace spearhead Mitchell Starc was released from Australia's tour of South Africa on Friday so that he can return home to watch his wife Alyssa Healy in the ICC Women's Twenty20 World Cup final.
The decision means Starc will miss the third and final one-dayer against the Proteas in Potchefstroom on Saturday, the last day of the series. “It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Mitch to watch Alyssa in a home World Cup final,” said coach Justin Langer.
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“So we were happy to allow him to return home to support his wife and be part of a fantastic occasion. We have plenty of fast bowling options with us here in South Africa with Josh Hazlewood, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson all sitting out our previous match in Bloemfontein,” he added.
Defending champion Australia faces India in the Women's T20 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Sunday, with wicketkeeper-batswoman Healy a key part of its team.
Both Starc and Healy have represented their nation in Test cricket, becoming only the third married couple to do so. England's Roger Prideaux and Ruth Westbrook and Sri Lanka's Guy de Alwis and Rasanjali Chandima Silva are the other two couples in the list.
However, Sir Richard Hadlee and his ex-wife Karen, who hasn't played Tests, have both played one-day cricket for New Zealand.