January 29, 2003

Berry omitted for ING clash

Bushrangers vice-captain Darren Berry has been omitted on disciplinary grounds for Friday's ING Cup match in Queensland and next week's Pura Cup game at the MCG against the NSW Blues. Brad Hodge will captain the side on Friday in Berry's absence.

Berry, who failed to attend this morning's scheduled 6.30am training session at the Kerferd Road beach, was informed of the disciplinary action by coach David Hookes.

Hookes said that the decision was a tough but fair one. "It was the most difficult decision I have had to make in my time in a leadership capacity in cricket, both with South Australia and Victoria. Along with Merv Hughes, Ian Redpath and Bill Lawry, Darren is the proudest and most passionate Victorian cricketer I have come across".

"Generally Darren's commitment to the side and preparation for matches is unparalleled, however all players were warned of the consequences if they were late or failed to attend the morning sessions. As a result Darren will not be selected for the following two matches".

Berry said the decision was fair and that he accepted the penalty. "The alarm clock was set but I failed to check the am/pm setting. Consequently I missed training. I have let my teammates down and it hurts me immensely to know that I will not be playing alongside them in the upcoming ING Cup game in Brisbane and the vitally important Pura Cup clash against NSW next week".

He added, "I am no different to anyone else in the team, David Hookes made it clear what the penalty would be if any player was to miss training and for that reason I accept the penalty".

Australian under 19 wicketkeeper Adam Crosthwaite replaces Berry and will make his ING Cup debut. Crosthwaite, 18, has been in scintillating form for Australia during the current youth Test and One-Day series against England.

Also selected for their ING Cup debuts are Prahran batsman David Hussey, who leads the runscorers in Victorian Premier Cricket with 660 runs @ 60.00 and Melbourne University batsman Brendan Joseland.

BUSHRANGERS Brad Hodge (c), Nick Jewell, Rob Cassell, Brendan Joseland, Andrew McDonald, Michael Klinger, David Hussey, Cameron White, Adam Crosthwaite, Jon Moss, Shane Harwood, Mick Lewis, Mathew Inness (one to be omitted)