Hilfenhaus wins Twenty20 promotion
Ben Hilfenhaus, the right-arm swing bowler, will join his first tour with Australia in September after he was nominated to replace Shaun Tait in the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa. Tait's participation was doubtful after he recovered slowly from an elbow operation in June and he will now aim to make the seven-match one-day series in India starting in late September.
"This news is very disappointing for Shaun after such a successful World Cup campaign," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. "The flip side is that this presents a great opportunity for a good young fast bowler who had such a good season last year."
Hilfenhaus, the Tasmanian who made his one-day international and Twenty20 debuts in 2006-07, was the leading domestic bowler last summer, picking up 60 wickets. "Ben is highly regarded and the chance to be part of an Australian touring squad will greatly assist his development," Hilditch said. "We're really keen, fitness permitting, for Shaun to take part in the India tour."
Tait met with Alex Kountouris, the physiotherapist, and Trefor James, the team doctor, in Melbourne on Friday. "Recent efforts to resume bowling have resulted in some elbow discomfort, which is an indication that more time is required for him to start training at a greater intensity," Kountouris said. He was able to start in the nets only in the past two weeks and was further disrupted by an infection to the elbow.
Michael Brown, Cricket Australia's operations manager, has written to the ICC requesting the change in Australia's 15-man squad. The team's first match is against Zimbabwe on September 12.