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Who will replace Warne?
Our Correspondent |
February 11, 2003 18:48 IST
Who will replace Shane Warne in the Australian World Cup squad following his return to Australia after testing positive for a banned drug?
The Australian team management maintains that it will seek the reinstatement of Warne to the team if he comes out clean in an ACB inquiry scheduled to be held in Melbourne later this week.
But with Australia's key preliminary match against India in Centurion just three days away, speculation is rife over who fill Warne's vacancy. The Australian thinktank has already indicated that it wants a replacement.
The names of legspinner Stuart Macgill and former captain Steve Waugh are already doing the rounds. The first name is obvious, but if Waugh returns it would mark an extraordinary comeback for the 325-match veteran who has played 40 more ODIs than seven players who are playing against Pakistan today.
But there is a problem. Neither Macgill nor Waugh figured in Australia's initial list of 30 probables and it is unclear if the International Cricket Council will allow players from outside that list to be chosen as a replacement.
Indeed, it is not clear if ICC will allow a replacement at all to start with. Ian Harvey was allowed to replace Shane Watson only because the all-rounder sustained an injury on the field. But with Michael Bevan injured and Darren Lehmann serving a disciplinary sentence, the Aussie bench strength is low enough for the ICC to accommodate the request for a replacement.
The Australian media is reporting that the selectors who meet on Wednesday to pick a replacement for Warne, might also be inclined to also look at offspinner Nathan Hauritz, legspinner Cameron White, and leftarm spinner Mark Higgs, who were all in the list of probables.