Steve Waugh captains greatest XI
Steve Waugh has been named captain of Australia's greatest ODI team at the celebration of one-day cricket in Sydney. The current leader Ricky Ponting took the vice-captaincy role and the No. 3 spot while Michael Bevan won the fight for the finisher's position.
However, there was no place for Allan Border, who led Australia to their first World Cup in 1987, or Michael Hussey, who averages 66.88 in 61 matches. The line-up was dominated by names which had carried Australia to consecutive World Cup titles.
Bevan edged out Border and Hussey for the No. 6 spot while Dean Jones, who played in the successful 1987 side, was picked at No. 4 and followed by Waugh. The openers were Mark Waugh and Adam Gilchrist - neither Ian Healy nor Rod Marsh were in the short-list of 30 - and Andrew Symonds' all-round skills won him a berth at seven while Greg Chappell was 12th man.
The attack included the senior figure of Dennis Lillee, who took one of the three fast-bowling slots with Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee. Shane Warne, who has not played an ODI for Australia since 2003, was picked after being a central figure in the 1999 campaign. Overall the players had appeared in 2370 matches, scored 55,831 runs and taken 1532 wickets.
The naming of the squad showed how much Australia value the injured Lee and Symonds. Lee was ruled out with an ankle injury last week while Symonds continues to recover from surgery on his arm. Symonds will leave with the squad for the Caribbean on Wednesday after the current group's official World Cup farewell at the celebration dinner.
"There's some great players who have missed out on the side and that's always going to be the case," Steve Waugh said. "Going across different eras, it's almost impossible to pick the side.
"I think everyone here feels very privileged to be picked, especially myself being captain. There's a number of players that could have been sitting here in the side, Allan Border, a number of other players."
Australia's 163 ODI representatives since 1971 were invited to vote for their best team, with about 80% casting their nominations. Approximately 120 of the players attended the function, which also recognised Border's 1987 squad almost 20 years after the breakthrough triumph in India.
Australia's greatest ODI XI Adam Gilchrist (wk), Mark Waugh, Ricky Ponting, Dean Jones, Steve Waugh (capt), Michael Bevan, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Dennis Lillee, Glenn McGrath, Greg Chappell (12th man).