December 18, 2002

Australian squad for the VB Series match v Sri Lanka in Perth on 22 December

Australian Cricket Board (ACB) Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland today announced that the National Selection Panel (NSP) has chosen the following squad for the VB Series match against Sri Lanka in Perth on Sunday 22 December:

Ricky Ponting (captain)TAS27150
Darren Lehmann (vice-captain)SA3283
Michael BevanNSW32188
Andrew BichelQLD3232
Ryan CampbellWA301
Jason GillespieSA2746
Matthew HaydenQLD3147
Brad HoggWA317
Brett LeeNSW2648
Damien MartynWA31106
Glenn McGrathNSW32165
Shane WatsonTAS2117

The squad will assemble in Perth on Thursday (19 December).

There are two changes from the squad that was on duty for Australia's first two matches of the VB Series, against England in Sydney and Melbourne, both of them enforced.

Western Australian wicketkeeper-batsman Ryan Campbell comes into the side in place of Adam Gilchrist, who is resting minor injuries to his groin and knee, while Shane Warne's dislocated shoulder has offered left-arm wrist-spinner and middle-order batsman Brad Hogg, also from Western Australia, an opportunity.

South Australia's Darren Lehmann has been named as vice-captain in Gilchrist's absence.

Both new players have already been included in Australia's provisional 30-man squad for next year's Cricket World Cup, both have been involved in Australia A's one-day matches this summer and both have previous international experience.

Campbell deputised for Gilchrist in a VB Series match against New Zealand in Sydney, making 38 from 52 balls as an opener, as well as claiming two catches and a stumping in a 23-run loss.

Hogg has played one Test match, against India in Delhi in 1996-97, as well as seven one-day internationals, the last of them in that same summer against India in Mohali.

Commenting on the squad, NSP Chairman Trevor Hohns said: "Brad Hogg is well performed for both Australia A and he's done well in ING Cup cricket for Western Australia for some time.

"He's a good fielder, more than useful in the middle order and has bowled well this season. He offers the whole package and this is an excellent opportunity to look at another spinner following Shane Warne's injury.

"Ryan Campbell's inclusion is a straight-out swap with Adam Gilchrist and he deserves his chance having done a terrific job for Australia A in one-day matches both with the bat and the gloves.

"Darren Lehmann's elevation to the vice-captaincy is a logical move given he is an experienced player, captain of his state and since coming back into the side he has worked well as a source of knowledge to the leadership group," added Hohns.

The VB Series, this summer contested by Australia, England and Sri Lanka, involves 12 qualifying matches with each team playing the other two sides four times each. Sunday's match will be the first meeting of the summer between Australia and Sri Lanka.

Following the qualifying matches the top two sides will then contest a best-of-three finals series with matches in Sydney (Thursday 23 January), Melbourne (Saturday 25 January) and, if required, Adelaide (Monday 27 January).