AUSTRALIA will head into the 2019 ICC World Cup in England without Bendemeer native Josh Hazlewood.
The star paceman and Australian Test vice-captain was left out of the 15-man squad, alongside in-form batsman Peter Handscomb.
Instead the pair will line up for Australia A, which will tour England during the World Cup ahead of the Ashes series, beginning on August 1.
Hazlewood had been suffering a back injury, which ruled him out of Australia's test series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
In battling to overcome the injury, Hazlewood returned to Tamworth District Cricket to play as a batsman for his childhood club Old Boys.
The man affectionately known as the Bendemeer Bullet told the Leader during his visit last month he was "very confident" of being fit for the World Cup.
"The injury has been coming along nicely, it is pretty much fully healed and I should be back bowling in a few weeks," Hazlewood told the Leader in March.
"So, just a slow build-up through late March and into April."
Hazlewood had been eyeing off lining up for Australia in warm-up tours ahead of the World Cup and Ashes tours beginning in June.
At this stage, it is expected he will take part in those tours.
"We've [Australia] got a couple of warm-up games in May in Brisbane before the World Cup, and then full steam ahead to England," he said. "So, a couple big tours coming up ... Yeah, very confident [of playing in the World Cup and Ashes].
"I've done the [rehabilitation] time now. It's been just over two months, and add another six weeks on to that and I'll be all good to go."
Australian national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement said there was a number of "tough calls" made in selecting the squad.
"Josh Hazlewood has also been named in the Australia A squad," Hohns said.
"Having not played at the highest level for some time, we feel this will provide him with the best preparation to get some quality cricket under his belt. Our focus is to have Josh back bowling at his best for the commencement of a big Ashes Tour."
Australia will begin its World Cup campaign against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1.
World Cup squad: David Warner, Aaron Finch (C), Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (VC), Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon.