March 5, 2003

Ponting says Dizzy will be sorely missed

JOHANNESBERG, March 5 AAP - Australian captain Ricky Ponting has lamented Jason Gillespie's wretched run of bad luck.

Gillespie was ruled out of the World Cup today with a strained tendon in his right foot.

He will be replaced by NSW speedster Nathan Bracken.

"It's another pretty big setback for us," said Ponting, who lost his gun leg-spinner Shane Warne to suspension before the tournament began.

"Coming into the World Cup you would have said Glenn McGrath, Dizzy (Gillespie) and Warney would be three big players for us.

"I said I thought Dizzy would be one of the outstanding bowlers of the tournament because I thought he'd had an outstanding couple of years without much luck.

"Things had to change for him at some stage and I thought it might have been here."

Bracken, will arrive in South Africa tomorrow, was chosen ahead of Western Australian Brad Williams.

Gillespie was returning home immediately.

Ponting said Bracken might end up playing an important role as Australia attempts to defend its cup title.

"If we get another wicket like we did down in Port Elizabeth last game there is every chance we would go in with quite a few quicks on that sort of wicket," said Ponting.

"He will be in the mix when he gets here.

"I think the ball will reverse swing a little bit here.

"He's very good at that and he's very good at bowling at the death and he can bowl across-the-seam cutters as well."