Steve Smith has been called into Australia's Ashes squad as batting cover
Last Updated: 23/06/13 9:40pm
Steve Smith: Has been captaining Australia A
Australia have announced that Steve Smith has been added to their Ashes squad until the start of the second Test at least.
And the 24-year-old, who scored 133 for Australia A against Ireland earlier this month, may well be given his chance in one or both of Australia's warm-up matches.
Captain Michael Clarke is currently recovering from a back injury and opener David Warner has been suspended until the start of the Ashes series.
It is hoped that Clarke could appear in this week's four-day game against Somerset at Taunton but Smith is to remain in England in any case, having just led Australia A on a three-match tour.
Australia's national selector John Inverarity said: "Steve Smith has been added to the Australian Ashes squad until the beginning of the Second Test, when it will be reviewed.
"While Michael Clarke continues to make good progress from a back injury, we feel further batting cover is required, given David Warner is unavailable for the upcoming tour games against Somerset and Worcestershire."
Smith has played in seven Tests so far and featured when England beat the Aussies in Australia in 2010/11.
Agar to stay
Inverarity also announced that left arm spinner Ashton Agar will be staying with the squad but Fawad Ahmed is to return to Australia, meaning an Ashes call-up for the leg-spinner is looking less likely.
Ahmed managed just two wickets from two tour matches for Australia A but the selectors have left the door open for him to return.
"Ashton Agar is to accompany the Ashes Squad until the beginning of the Second Test as a development player," said Inverarity on Sunday.
"This will be similar to the situation when Mitchell Starc accompanied the ODI, T20 and Test Squads on the tour to West Indies in 2012 as a development player.
"Fawad Ahmed will return to Australia tomorrow, while he goes through the processes required of him to become an Australian citizen, and remains a player of interest to the National Selection Panel."