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Australia's dominance may come to an end

May 27, 2003 12:49 IST

Australia's dominance may come to an end

Justin LangerAustralia could find it difficult to retain their dominance in world cricket when the current squad retires, according to Test star Justin Langer.

The batsman told the BBC Sport website that Australia will find it hard to replace the likes of Steve Waugh, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist.

The majority of Australia's squad is over 30, but because of their continuing phenomenal success selectors have resisted making wholesale changes.

In the next two or three years it is inevitable changes will occur and Australia will have to blood young players.

Flintoff still not fit

England may not have Andrew Flintoff back for the second Test as hoped, though Darren Gough has now re-appeared for Yorkshire.

Coach Duncan Fletcher said: "We have been told it could be another couple of weeks so we will probably have to look at this pessimistically.

"If he comes through any time earlier than that then it's a great advantage to us."

Flintoff, who will continue to receive massage treatment, is optimistic the injury will heal quickly.

ACB stumps the customs

Australia's cricketers beat the world's best to claim the Test championship trophy, only to be stumped on home ground by customs officials.

When the $85,000 mace arrived at Melbourne airport it was impounded by customs officials, who immediately went on the front foot, demanding the Australian Cricket Board pay import duty plus 10 per cent GST, a combined bill of more than $9000.

Later, their stance softened to a guarantee the money would be refunded when the trophy next left Australia. Given the current form of Australia's rampaging Test side, that could be years away, so the ACB batted back with a successful campaign to have all taxes waived.

After five days of phone calls and letters between the ACB, the customs department and courier service DHL, a deal was struck early yesterday permitting the trophy to enter Australia without being taxed.

Clarke will have to wait: Ponting

Michael ClarkeMichael Clarke may be the future of Australian cricket, but he will have to bide his time for becoming a regular in Ricky Ponting's world champion side.

He had remained unbeaten in the three one-day international played so far. Clarke scored 39 not out on debut, guiding Australia home against England in Adelaide last summer.

Despite his excellent form, Ponting said the man regarded as the best young talent Australia has produced since the skipper himself was still a "fair way" from being in the first-choice XI.

"He is playing beautifully, but I think he is probably going to have to wait a little while yet before he is in the first XI," he said.

Ponting said Damien Martyn, forced out the Caribbean tour because of a fractured finger, will return for the Bangladesh series in July, while the more experienced Jimmy Maher was still ahead on the pecking order. Darren Lehman (injured) is also a vital component of the middle order.