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February 17, 2010
Daniel Christian, the South Australia allrounder, is in line to become the second player of Aboriginal heritage to play an international for Australia after being selected in the Twenty20 squad to face West Indies. Christian will join Jason Gillespie, the former fast bowler, on the list if he appears in either of the games in Hobart on Sunday or Sydney on Tuesday.
Michael Clarke leads the team that will also include the pace trio of Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes, which upset Pakistan during a tight victory last month. The selectors have been impressed by Christian's power with the bat and effective medium pace in the domestic Twenty20 competition and picked him in a 14-man squad.
"We continue to look at various options and the balance of the team leading into the World Twenty20," the panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said. "We see Dan as an explosive allrounder who could have a good impact for us in Twenty20 internationals."
In three seasons of domestic Twenty20 action Christian has 230 runs at a strike-rate of 148.38 and taken 13 wickets in 16 games. He has also been in strong form for the Redbacks in the other competitions and last week took nine wickets and scored 71 in a Sheffield Shield win over Western Australia.
Christian grew up in New South Wales and is a graduate of Cricket Australia's indigenous cricket programme. He captained the national indigenous development squad during a tour of England last winter and is due to help them again later this year when they play Papua New Guinea.
"I'm an Aboriginal man from the Wiradjuri tribe in New South Wales, that's all through my Dad's side of the family, and they're all born and bred from down there," he said in Adelaide. "I've grown up in that environment, and I'm an Aboriginal man ... it is what it is."
Australia Twenty20 squad Shane Watson, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Michael Clarke (capt), Cameron White, David Hussey, Travis Birt, Brad Haddin (wk), Steven Smith, Daniel Christian, Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris, Dirk Nannes, Shaun Tait.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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