Gillespie earns Australia A call-up
Jason Gillespie will boost Australia A's attack in Pakistan after Shane Harwood was ruled out of the tour with a shoulder problem. Harwood had only last week been named as the replacement for Ben Hilfenhaus, who stepped into the injured Shaun Tait's place in the Twenty20 World Championship squad.
Gillespie, 32, has spent this week at the Sunshine Coast training camp for Cricket Australia's 25 contracted players. He was planning to fly straight back to Yorkshire to finish his county season - and collect his car from the short-term car-park at Heathrow - but instead he will depart on Saturday for three one-day games and two four-day matches against Pakistan A.
He hopes Australia's exhausting Test schedule for the next 18 months will mean this tour is not his last. "With a lot of cricket coming up there will be scope to rotate bowlers in different conditions purely to get through," Gillespie told the Advertiser. "There's so many Test matches in 2008. It's pretty fair to say the same bowling line-up won't be there in all games.
"I was more than happy to go along and put my name forward. If you get an opportunity to play for your country you certainly take it. Yorkshire's top, so part of me is a bit sad I won't be there for the last game against Hampshire."
Gillespie's most recent trip to the subcontinent was memorable for his extraordinary unbeaten 201 in a Test against Bangladesh last April. Gillespie will join Doug Bollinger and Ashley Noffke as the only genuine fast bowlers in the squad, although Luke Butterworth and James Hopes will provide medium-pace back-up.
The injury-prone Harwood hurt his shoulder at a Victoria training session on Tuesday and will now join his state team-mate Andrew McDonald in missing the tour. "This injury will need to be further assessed before a timeframe can be placed on his recovery," Cricket Australia's team doctor Trefor James said.
Harwood, 33, made his Twenty20 international debut against England in January. However, he also spent time on the sidelines last summer with calf, side and buttock complaints and could be running out of chances to impress the national selectors.