January 4, 2002

Shane Lee to miss Australia A matches, Shane Watson drafted in

New South Wales all-rounder Shane Lee has been ruled out of Australia A's two matches against the New Zealanders and South Africans next week, due to on-going soreness in his right knee.

He will be replaced in the squad by young Tasmanian all-rounder Shane Watson.

Lee's injury, which prevents him from bowling, forced him to withdraw from the Blues' four-day match against South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground in December 2001.

He will receive on-going treatment and his progress will be closely monitored by Cricket New South Wales physiotherapist Patrick Farhart.

Despite the injury, Lee may still be selected as a batsman in the Blues' ING Cup clash with the Victorian Bushrangers this Sunday 6 January in Melbourne.

20 year-old Watson has made 548 runs and taken 18 wickets in 10 matches for the Tasmanian Tigers since making his first-class debut midway through the 2000-01 season.

Upon learning of his selection Watson said: "I really am thrilled.

"David Johnston (Tasmanian Cricket Association Chief Executive Officer) told me the news while I was coaching at a junior clinic.

"I didn't expect this opportunity to arise for at least another couple of seasons, but I am looking forward to being part of a team that has so many top players in it."

Tuesday's day-night match at The Gabba won't be the first time Watson has faced the Black Caps this summer. The former Queenslander was part of the Prime Minister's XI that was defeated by the New Zealanders at Canberra's Mauka Oval in December.

Watson will face new Australia A team-mates Darren Lehmann and Greg Blewett in the Tasmanian Tigers' ING Cup match against the Southern Redbacks this Sunday 6 January at the NTCA Ground in Launceston.