January 14, 2002

Campbell replaces Gilchrist for VB Series Match against New Zealand

Adam Gilchrist will miss Thursday's VB Series match against New Zealand at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) to spend some time with his wife Melinda and new-born son Harrison, it was announced today.

Gilchrist will be replaced in the Australian line-up by Western Australian team-mate Ryan Campbell.

Harrison was born on 20 December, since when the Australian vice-captain has played back-to-back Orange Test matches in Melbourne and Sydney, followed by the first two matches in this summer's VB Series against New Zealand and South Africa in Melbourne.

After spending the rest of the week with his wife and son, it is hoped Gilchrist will rejoin the side in Brisbane ahead of its fourth match in the VB Series, against South Africa at The Gabba on Sunday 20 January.

Adam Gilchrist said: "After the recent birth of my son Harrison I was extremely keen to spend some time with him and Mel and I'm grateful for the chance to do just that in the midst of a busy schedule."

An Australian vice-captain for the SCG match will be announced in due course.

Ryan Campbell gets his chance after impressing for Western Australia and Australia A both with the bat and behind the stumps.

Campbell said: "I can't really believe this has happened to me as at the start of the season I wasn't even in the WA side.

"I just set my sights on working hard to get back into the Warriors' line-up, looking to be a good contributor for the team, and this is an unbelievable reward.

"When I got the call for Australia A you could have knocked me down with a feather but this is just amazing."

Campbell added: "I had a good season in 1998-99 and I think I lost focus a bit thinking about things like the 1999 World Cup as a result.

"I got dropped from the WA side but there was some good that came from that because it taught me never to take anything for granted. I've just kept working and hoped that something good would come of it and so to get this news is fantastic."

On his 'keeping, Campbell commented: "I had major knee surgery during the winter of 2000 and that meant I didn't really have any sort of pre-season ahead of the summer that followed.

"I couldn't keep wicket in four-day cricket and was only able to do it in one-day games towards the end of the season.

"Then, before this summer, I was told that if I wanted to stay with WA I needed to be the second 'keeper behind Gilly and bat down the list and I accepted that.

"I've been working on my 'keeping to get it up to standard and this is a great reward for that."

Campbell is scheduled to link up with the Australian squad late on Monday night and should be available to the media after training at the SCG on Tuesday. That session runs from 10:00. He will wear number 35 on his playing shirt.

Tickets for most matches in the VB Series are still available from usual outlets.

The next match in the VB Series is the clash between New Zealand and South Africa at Bellerive Oval, Hobart on Tuesday 15 January.

The match is a day game starting at 10:00.