Australia have drafted Steve Smith into their Ashes squad, amid continuing concerns over the fitness of captain Michael Clarke.
The 24-year-old all-rounder has been called up as cover until at least the second Test at Lord's, which starts on the July 18, and he'll meet up with the original 16-man squad on Monday.
Australia, who will play in their official tour opener against Somerset later this week, have made the move following the flaring up of Clarke's long-standing back problem.
Clarke is reportedly still hoping to play some part in the four-day tour game at Taunton, but with his fellow batsmen David Warner - suspended until the first Test after his bar-room altercation with England batsmen Joe Root - also missing, Smith's inclusion has been deemed necessary.
The right-hand batsman, who is also a useful leg spinner, is already in England with Australia A, who he captained to a 24-run win over Gloucestershire in Bristol on Sunday.
Chief selector for Australia John Inverarity stated: "Given David Warner is unavailable for the upcoming tour games against Somerset and Worcestershire while Michael Clarke continues to make good progress from a back injury, we feel further batting cover is required.
"Steve Smith has been added to the Australian Ashes squad until the beginning of the second Test, when it will be reviewed."
Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed had also been tipped for a late call-up but will now return to Australia on Monday to complete his citizenship qualification.
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