Selectors give Johnson permission to run with Bulls
Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson have been cleared by the Australian selectors to play for Queensland as they battle to avoid the ING Cup wooden spoon at the Gabba on Friday. Both players were expected to miss the final match of the regular season as they prepared to leave for the one-day tour of South Africa on Monday, but they were granted permission to play against the Redbacks, who are pushing for a berth in the final on February 26.
Ray Phillips, the chairman of selectors, said Nathan Rimmington, who was due to make his debut, and Steven Paulsen had been dropped from the original squad that was named on Wednesday. "Shane and Mitch haven't had a lot of cricket lately and because they wanted to play we were more than happy to make the changes," he said. "Apart from Andrew Symonds, this is virtually a full-strength line-up and we're confident it will give us a chance to finish the one-day season on a high."
Queensland have never finished last in a domestic one-day competition and they face a tough challenge from South Australia, who boast Darren Lehmann, Jason Gillespie and Shaun Tait. New South Wales hold a five-point lead at the top of the table.
Queensland Jimmy Maher (capt), Matthew Hayden, James Hopes, Clinton Perren, Shane Watson, Brendan Nash, Chris Hartley (wk), Andy Bichel, Nathan Hauritz, Michael Kasprowicz, Ashley Noffke, Mitchell Johnson.
South Australia Greg Blewett, Cameron Borgas, Mark Cosgrove, Callum Ferguson, Darren Lehmann (capt), Daniel Harris, Ken Skewes, Ryan Harris, Graham Manou (wk), Mark Cleary, Jason Gillespie, Cullen Bailey, Shaun Tait.