November 6, 2001

Blues selectors make four changes

Adrian Warren and John Salvado

SYDNEY, Nov 5 AAP - New South Wales has turned to its contingent of Clark(e)s to fill the gaps for the Pura Cup cricket match against Victoria starting in Melbourne on Thursday.

With Test trio Mark Waugh, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee unavailable and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin back from a thumb injury, the selectors made four changes to the team which beat South Australia in three days at the SCG last week.

Recalled alongside Haddin, who replaces Nathan Pilon, were paceman Don Nash, batsman Michael Clarke and off-spinner Anthony Clark.

To make the scorers' job even more difficult, fast bowler Stuart Clark will almost certainly be promoted to the starting XI after being 12th man against South Australia.

The Clark(e) contingent have played together on only one previous occasion, in a drawn Pura Cup match against Victoria at the SCG last summer.

Anthony Clark, who took six wickets at 47.66 in his opening season of first class cricket last summer, has already bagged a couple of five-wicket hauls in club cricket during the current campaign.

His return of 5-109 for Fairfield against Bankstown last Saturday included the prized wicket of Australian captain Steve Waugh, who he bowled for 84.

"I've worked pretty hard on my fitness and just hope to work on what I've started on last year and get a few more games this year," Anthony Clark said.

One of the vacant bowling spots seems certain to go to Stuart Clark, who took 5-64 against Tasmania but was relegated to drinks waiter against South Australia to accommodate Lee and Nathan Bracken.

Depending on the Punt Rd wicket, the 12th man position would appear to rest between Anthony Clark and his Fairfield clubmate Nash, who was dropped for the last Pura Cup match.

Victoria called up rising leg-spinner Cameron White to replace Shane Warne, who's absent on Test duty.

White, 18, made an impressive first-class debut against the Blues last season including a haul of 4-65.

"I think that last year's experience was very important for me, particularly the game at the SCG and I'm looking to build on those performances," he said.

White, who has just returned from a tour of New Zealand with the Commonwealth Bank Academy team, also said the recent chance to train with Warne had been a great learning experience.

The Victorian selectors could not consider skipper Paul Reiffel, who had yet to recover from a back injury.

Victoria has made a wretched start to the domestic season.

It props up the Pura Cup table after two rounds and has also lost all four of its ING Cup matches.

NSW is in second place on the Pura Cup table behind Queensland.


Victoria: Matthew Elliott (capt), Jason Arnberger, Brad Hodge, Matthew Mott, Michael Klinger, Ian Harvey, Darren Berry, Colin Miller, Damien Fleming, Mathew Inness, Michael Lewis, Cameron White (12th man to be named).

NSW: Shane Lee (capt), Michael Slater, Greg Mail, Michael Bevan, Mark Higgs, Michael Clarke, Brad Haddin, Anthony Clark, Nathan Bracken, Stuart MacGill, Stuart Clark, Don Nash (12th man to be named).