Joe Burns added to Australia A squad with Ashes on the horizon

Joe Burns plays a shot Getty Images

Joe Burns will get a chance to press his case for the Ashes after being added to Australia A's squad for the four-day leg of the England tour.

Burns was not initially part of the squad that was named in April, with Australia's selectors content for him to remain on a scheduled 10-game stint with Lancashire in Division Two of the County Championship.

But Burns' stint with Lancashire ended after just one match in May when he was forced home to recover from post-viral fatigue issues and he was replaced as Lancashire's overseas player by Jake Lehmann.

After an enforced rest period, he resumed training on June 17 and was cleared to play again on Monday. The selectors decided to add Burns to the squad for the three four-day games that begin from Sunday against Sussex at Arundel.

"I'm looking forward to it," Burns said. "The last few weeks there was probably a little bit of uncertainty. It's nice now to have a medical clearance and have some cricket laid out in front of me and all systems go. Just looking forward to getting back to the UK and getting stuck in.

"The hardest thing is the uncertainty. When I got diagnosed, I knew I had symptoms for a long time, so I knew that something wasn't right, but to get the diagnosis and then work with some specialists and get the support from Cricket Australia to get myself right, get back into training, as soon as you have certainty it makes it a lot easier."

Marcus Harris was originally the only specialist opener picked in the four-day squad but Australia's chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said they needed to give Burns the opportunity to press his case for the Ashes.

"It's good news that Joe is back to full fitness, and given that he's had the okay to resume playing and has been training at full tilt with Queensland, we've decided to add him to the squad for the upcoming four-day games to give him the opportunity to press for selection in the Ashes squad," Hohns said.

Burns flew out of Brisbane on Wednesday morning and will join the squad in Brighton on Thursday. He did have a training session with former Australia coach and current Brisbane Heat coach Darren Lehmann before flying out.

"I always keep in contact with him and I've got a really good relationship with him," Burns said. "Obviously he was my first Queensland coach and first Australia coach. We did some really simple stuff to try and prepare for England. I'm really thankful for his time."

Australia A play two four-day games against Sussex and the England Lions before at least 22 players will be involved in an Australia versus Australia A fixture in Hampshire on July 23. That game will feature members of the World Cup squad and will be the final hit out before the Ashes squad is picked on July 27.

Australia A have remained undefeated in the five-match, 50-over portion of the tour after beating Gloucestershire at Bristol on Tuesday.

Will Pucovski and Travis Head both scored centuries as Australia A piled up 3 for 353. Pucovski made 137 from 135 balls in his maiden List A century while Head smashed 11 fours and four sixes in his 138 from 120 balls.

Gloucestershire gave Australia A a scare in the chase, falling just seven runs short. Sean Abbott starred with the ball taking 4 for 52 from his 10 overs. He took 2 for 8 in his last two overs at the death to seal the game.