David getting Australian ODI debut without a state contract shouldn’t have been allowed to happen

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 09: Tim David of Australia out for 1 during the 2nd Betway One Day International match between South Africa and Australia at Mangaung Oval on September 09, 2023 in Bloemfontein, South Africa. (Photo by Charle Lombard/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

It’s perhaps a sign of ODI cricket’s waning appeal or that Australia’s tour of South Africa is barely breaking into the footy-obsessed news cycle at finals time of year but Tim David’s unusual debut was a worrying sign. 

The T20 specialist was called into the Australian side when Steve Smith delayed his return from a wrist injury and Glenn Maxwell returned home early due to an ankle problem. 

David’s done well in the T20 team so the theory was why not give him a crack in the 50-over format in one of these relatively meaningless bilateral series.

He won’t be a late inclusion in the World Cup squad in India next month unless there’s at least a couple of injuries – Marnus Labuschagne is at the head of the standby batting list after his purple patch in South Africa.

But the fact is David does not play in the domestic one-day competition and does not even have a state contract.

????️ “It’s probably one of the most unconventional pathways to the one-day game we’ve seen” <

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