Symonds back in Australian side
Andrew Symonds' exile from the national team is over after he was named in the Australian side to take on an All-Stars XI in a Twenty20 match in Brisbane on Friday. Symonds will also be back in the frame for the upcoming home Test series against New Zealand having completed the welfare process prescribed for him.
Symonds has been out of contention for Australia's matches since late August, when the team leadership group sent him home from the ODI series in Darwin after he chose to go fishing and missed a team meeting. He later declared his intentions to try to return to the Australia team and he has been playing for Queensland in the first month of the domestic season.
"He has made significant progress during his enforced layoff," Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland said. "I know Andrew has had a very strong desire to fight his way back into the Australian team and I am confident that desire will be reflected in his actions over the coming months."
Another player making a comeback is the fast bowler Shaun Tait, who has not appeared for Australia since walking away from cricket in January, citing mental and physical exhaustion. Tait was chosen in the Australia squad having made a strong start to the domestic limited-overs series for South Australia.
"Shaun is a dynamic bowler in all forms of the game," Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said. "Given his outstanding performances in interstate one-day cricket, we feel he is ideally suited to Twenty20."
Several players will be rested for the one-off match following their tough tour of India, including the captain Ricky Ponting, who will hand the reins to Michael Clarke. The fast bowlers Brett Lee, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark will also take a break, while James Hopes and Nathan Bracken were not considered due to recent injuries.
The bowling vacancies give Australia a chance to test out some of their younger fast men in the Twenty20 arena. Peter Siddle, who made his Test debut in Mohali, has been included alongside the team's newest ODI debutant, Brett Geeves. The opener Matthew Hayden was included while his long-time opening partner, Justin Langer, will be part of the opposition.
Langer and Adam Gilchrist will be the major attractions in the Australian Cricketers' Association All-Stars line-up, which is mostly made up of leading domestic players. Simon Katich will find himself facing several of his Test team-mates, while the younger members of the squad include Victoria's dynamic opener Rob Quiney and the South Australia offspinner Dan Cullen.
Australia Matthew Hayden, Shaun Marsh, Michael Clarke (capt), Michael Hussey, David Hussey, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson, Cameron White, Brad Haddin (wk), Brett Geeves, Peter Siddle, Shaun Tait.
ACA All-Stars XI Adam Gilchrist (capt, wk), Justin Langer, Brad Hodge, Simon Katich, Rob Quiney, Michael Dighton, Dan Marsh, Ashley Noffke, Ryan Harris, Steve Magoffin, Brendan Drew, Dan Cullen.