December 18, 2002

Hopes on stand-by for Bulls

XXXX Queensland Bulls allrounder James Hopes has made a late dash to Hobart to be on stand-by for tomorrow's Pura Cup clash against the Tasmania Tigers.

Hopes flew to Tasmania today as a pre-cautionary move after off-spinner Nathan Hauritz was troubled by a calf muscle strain at training this morning.

The allrounder was part-way through captaining the Queensland Academy of Sport team in their match against the Tasmanian 2nd XI at Allan Border Field, top-scoring with 57 in the first innings and taking 2-31 from 17.5 overs.

Hauritz was bothered by the injury during last weekend's Australia 'A' match against Sri Lanka and the Queensland selectors felt it was best to cover all contingencies should he not be 100 percent tomorrow morning.

Hopes had the company of wicket-keeper Wade Seccombe for the flight to Hobart today after the Bulls gloveman was granted permission to delay his trip to be present at the birth of he and wife Vicki's third child.

The Seccombe's became parents again yesterday with the birth of Elizabeth Grace.

Meanwhile the Bulls have benefited from the presence of Queensland cricket legend Carl Rackemann during their build-up for the match.

Bulls coach Terry Oliver has taken steps to incorporate past Queensland players into the team's routine wherever possible, with Rackemann travelling with the team on Monday.

Oliver has involved the likes of Ian Healy, Rackemann, Geoff Foley and Scott Prestwidge in the team's preparations so far and has plans to utilise the experience of Trevor Barsby and Allan Border when available.

"Having these blokes around is good for some of the younger players to get an idea of where the team has come from and it's good for me to have another person to bounce ideas off," said Oliver.

Rackemann, the leading wicket-taker in Queensland history, coached Zimbabwe for two seasons with some success before returning to farm in Queensland.

XXXX Queensland Bulls v Tasmania, Pura Cup, Thurs Dec 19 - Sun Dec 22, Bellerive Oval: Jimmy Maher (c), Brendan Nash, Martin Love, Andrew Symonds, Stuart Law, Lee Carseldine, Wade Seccombe, Ashley Noffke, Nathan Hauritz, Joe Dawes, Damien MacKenzie, Scott Brant, James Hopes (one to be omitted, twelfth man to be named)