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Mitchell Marsh pledges World Cup return after unexpected exit

Mitchell Marsh has flown home to Australia over a family issue but has told his teammates he’ll be back in India to play a further part in their World Cup campaign.

The star allrounder has had to return to Perth for what have been described as personal reasons but messaged his colleagues before he left to tell them he would return “to win this World Cup”.

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Marsh’s exit from the squad has come just 24 hours after Glenn Maxwell fell off a golf cart in a “boys will be boys” episode, leaving the Australians without the two explosive allrounders going into Saturday’s match against England in Ahmedabad.

But Marcus Stoinis, a close friend of both Marsh and Maxwell, has offered encouraging news about the prospect of the pair returning to action in India with a further two-and-a-half weeks of the tournament remaining.

“Mitch has flown home late last night, he’s got a family issue going on, and family’s the most important [thing] really,” Stoinis told reporters in Ahmedabad.

“He’s doing the right thing, and he’s getting home, and he’s seeing the people he needs to see. I don’t think there’s a timeline on when he’s coming back, but I’m sure he’ll do what he needs to do at home, and then get back.

“And he sent a message last night saying, ‘I’ll be home for a little bit, and then I’m coming back to win this World Cup’. So that speaks to his mindset.”

Of Maxwell, who was concussed after his golf cart tumble but is expected to be back in action for the clash against Afghanistan on Tuesday, Stoinis said: “Yeah, it’s unfortunate. It was one of those things, unfortunately happened with boys being boys to an extent.

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Australia’s Marcus Stoinis bats in the nets ahead of a Cricket World Cup 2023 match against England in Ahmedabad.Australia’s Marcus Stoinis bats in the nets ahead of a Cricket World Cup 2023 match against England in Ahmedabad. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

“I didn’t see him fall off the cart or anything like that, so I can’t really talk about that part, but I saw him yesterday, he’s in good spirits, he’s in Glenn Maxwell spirits. Can’t speak too much in terms of medical side, but I think he’s back, I’d hope he’s back very soon.”

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Stoinis admitted that the popular 32-year-old Marsh, who’s had a fine tournament topped by his century against Pakistan, would be missed as much for “his energy and his personality around the team” as his contributions on the field.

But he was confident Australia had good cover in his absence, and was looking forward to his own prospective return to action against England after being sidelined by a calf injury.

“There’s bases covered,” said Stoinis. “I joke with him [Marsh] that he just passes the overs back to me now, and thanks for that. But yeah, the bases are covered, but we will miss him. And he’ll be back soon, and the train keeps rolling.”

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