January 14, 2002

Campbell called into Australian squad as replacement for Gilchrist

Vice-captain Adam Gilchrist has withdrawn from Australia's team to play New Zealand in the day-night clash in Sydney on Thursday.

Gilchrist has returned home to Perth today for personal reasons. His place in Australia's 14-man VB Series squad will be assumed by fellow Western Australian Ryan Campbell.

Campbell, 29, is an explosive right handed wicketkeeper-batsman. He made his debut at interstate level in 1994-95 and has played a total of 52 first-class and 46 interstate one-day games for his state in the seven years that have followed.

Campbell lost his place in Western Australia's first-class team to Mark Walsh last summer and received a lucrative offer to relocate to Victoria in the off-season. He also endured a disappointing limited-overs summer in 2000-01, scoring only 135 runs in ten matches at an average of 15.00 before Western Australia surrendered the domestic one-day title to New South Wales.

But, after regaining his regular first-class spot as well as making an impressive 77 in a one-day encounter against Victoria in Melbourne late last month, Campbell was named as a surprise inclusion in the Australia 'A' team which recently defeated both New Zealand and South Africa. He batted and kept wickets impressively in each of those two matches.

He now joins the senior Australian side as it attempts to mount a recovery following unexpected losses in each of the two opening matches of the three-cornered VB Series.

The world champions lost by four wickets to South Africa in a tight contest in Melbourne yesterday, compounding the effects of a shock 23-run defeat at the hands of New Zealand two days earlier.

Gilchrist is expected to rejoin the squad in Brisbane for its match against South Africa at the 'Gabba on Sunday.