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Sixers set for triple international boost in next week

“He’s a world-class international bowler and he’s always done great things in our colours, so it’s great to have him back,” Shipperd said in the middle of a soggy SCG.

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“It means a few of our emerging spinners have to wait their turn, but we might do something a bit different in terms of our bowling structure and depending on what kind of wicket we see out there.

“He [Lyon] was still at the back end of getting his thumb absolutely right [and wasn’t ready for Thursday night]. Nathan is Nathan, he’ll get a role against the Thunder on Saturday.”

Hazlewood and Smith are in India for the one-day series, but will step out next Thursday at the Gabba in what is shaping as one of the best matches of the summer against AB de Villiers and Chris Lynn’s Heat.

To cut out travel time, Smith and his paceman pal will bypass Sydney and fly straight into the Queensland capital a day before the game.

Shipperd said there had been no suggestions the internationals would be given a rest.

“We’re wanting them out of India as soon as possible,” Shipperd said.

“Nothing is confirmed there, but we’d like to have Josh and Steve available to us next Thursday.

“And what a win for T20 cricket and the [BBL] competition to have two of our best against de Villiers and co – it would be a great game if they’re all available.”

In a further boost to the Sixers, who at this stage of the tournament loom as the Melbourne Stars’ biggest threat, Sean Abbott remains on track to return from a side strain in time for the finals.

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He will be a straight swap for Tom Curran, who departs at the end of the regular competition to link with the England limited-overs team.

“He’s making good progress,” Shipperd said.

“He’s running and shadow bowling and he’s putting in an enormous amount of work behind the scenes to cover for Tom Curran in the finals should we make it.”

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