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Cricket

Alex Carey gets Ashes call-up

Cricket

South Australian wicketkeeper Alex Carey will make his Test debut at the Gabba next week, with selectors giving him the nod to replace Tim Paine in the Australian XI.

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Carey was locked in a battle with Western Australian gloveman and rising star Josh Inglis for the Ashes spot vacated by former captain Paine, who is on an indefinite leave of absence after a sexting scandal.

Cricket Australia confirmed this morning that Carey, 30, would get the call up for the first two tests against England in Brisbane and Adelaide.

The South Australian wicketkeeper has represented Australia in 83 limited-overs matches and will become the 463rd player to wear the Baggy Green.

“I am incredibly humbled by this opportunity. It’s an exciting build-up for what is a huge series ahead,” Carey said.

“My focus is on preparing and playing my part in helping Australia secure the Ashes.

“This is also for my dad who has been my coach, mentor and mate, my mum, my wife Eloise, kids Louis and Clementine, my brother and sister and all of those who have supported me.

“I will be doing my absolute best to make them and our country proud.”

Carey last week made a timely century for South Australia in a 50-over game against Queensland, top-scoring with 101 off 93 balls and staking his claim for an Ashes spot.

The left-handed batsman is already Australia’s first choice One Day wicketkeeper and vice-captain, and travelled to the UAE as Matthew Wade’s backup at the T20 World Cup.

He has averaged just under 60 in his last three Sheffield Shield seasons.

Chairman of selectors George Bailey said Carey being a regular member of Australia’s white-ball squad was appealing.

“He is an excellent cricketer and a fine individual, who will bring many great strengths into the team,” he said.

Selectors are yet to make a decision on whether South Australian captain Travis Head or Usman Khawaja will fill the vacant batting spot at number five.

The first Ashes test in Brisbane begins on December 8, with the second test in Adelaide on December 16.

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