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Aussies mull over Symonds
February 06, 2007 17:56 IST
Australia are seeking clarification from the International Cricket Council (ICC) over the eligibility of injured players for the World Cup after all-rounder Andrew Symonds tore a bicep tendon in his right shoulder on Friday.
Symonds underwent surgery on Sunday and is likely to be out of action for at least six weeks, jeopardising his place in the World Cup, which starts in the West Indies on March 13.
Australia, favourites to win the World Cup for the third time in succession, want to include Symonds in their 15-man squad in the hope that he will be ready for the tournament.
Captain Ricky Ponting said it is possible that Symonds could miss the earlier rounds and save himself for the more important matches at the end of the tournament.
However, the Australians are concerned that if Symonds is named in the squad by next week's deadline, but fails to recover in time to play, they may not be allowed to pick a replacement.
"I think there are a few things we have to check out with the ICC first as far as taking an injured player away to the West Indies is concerned," Ponting told reporters in Melbourne on Tuesday.
"The doctors have basically said six or seven weeks and he should be right to start playing again then.
"That sort of period comes at a really crucial time in the middle of the World Cup there so to have him around and playing those games would be great for us."
Symonds' matchwinning ability makes him an automatic selection in the Australian team but Ponting said the selectors would face a tough decision on whether to risk him or not.
"That is a difficult question at the moment - can we risk taking an injured player away, and if we happen to have another one or two injuries over there then we could get caught short," Ponting said.
"He's such an important player for us and I know how much he wants to be at the World Cup as well, so we've got a lot of thinking to do to see if we pick him in the squad to take over to the West Indies."