Gavaskar leads World XI selectors
A star-studded selection panel chaired by Sunil Gavaskar will choose the ICC World XIs for the six-day Super Test against Australia and three one-day matches in October. Gavaskar will join Michael Atherton, Sir Richard Hadlee, Jonty Rhodes, Aravinda de Silva and Clive Lloyd to pick the outfits to compete for US$2.6 million in payments and prizemoney.
Australia, the world No. 1 team, have already been confirmed for the Test at Sydney from October 14-19 and if they wrap up the VB Series will play the World XI in three matches at Melbourne's Telstra Dome. Gavaskar's panel will name a 30-man squad in April that will be trimmed to 20 in June before the final announcement in August. "I think we've got a great balance of international experience on the panel and I'm sure there will be a lively debate when we convene to pick the teams," Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar said the Test side would be picked according to the conditions at the spin-friendly SCG, and did not expect the selectors to follow the rankings. "I look forward to Australia's arse being kicked," Gavaskar told the Courier-Mail. "It gives an Englishman a chance to be in a team that beats Australia. I would pick the best team rather than the best players because you really want to get 11 players who will be able to combine together."
Atherton said playing Australia, who have not lost a home Test series since 1992-93 or an ODI tournament since 2001-02, in their backyard was the ultimate challenge. "It's going to be a fascinating task trying to select an international side capable of succeeding where so many national teams have failed," he said.
Lloyd, who captained the West Indies as they dominated in the 1970s and 80s, said he would have relished the opportunity when he was playing to take on the world on home soil. "There are so many top players available for selection in the ICC World XI that the hardest task is going to be deciding who to leave out," he said.
Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive, said the selection panel had impeccable credentials for a near-impossible job. He also wants the matches given full Test and one-day status.
Combined prizemoney and match payments for the one-day series will be US$1.25 million, while the total available for the Super Test will be US$1.39 million. Tickets go on sale tomorrow.