October 1, 2003

Thirteen-man squad announced for first 3 Test

Cricket Australia today announced that the National Selection Panel (NSP) has chosen a 13-man squad for the first 3 Test match against Zimbabwe, beginning in Perth on 9 October.

The squad is:

Stephen Waugh (captain)NSW38162
Ricky Ponting (vice-captain)TAS2869
Andrew BichelQLD3315
Adam GilchristWA3245
Jason GillespieSA2845
Matthew HaydenQLD3144
Justin LangerWA3154
Brett LeeNSW2633
Darren LehmannSA3314
Stuart MacGillNSW3225
Damien MartynWA3133
Glenn McGrath (subject to fitness)NSW3395
Brad WilliamsWA280

West Australian batsman Damien Martyn, who missed the Travelex Tour of the West Indies and Australia's two Top End Test matches against Bangladesh due to injury, returns to the Test squad in place of Queenslander Martin Love.

Meanwhile, Glenn McGrath is continuing to recover from surgery to his left ankle that forced his withdrawal from the VB Series against Bangladesh in Cairns and Darwin during August. His fitness will be monitored by team medical staff and selectors in the lead-up to the Test.

Uncapped West Australian paceman Brad Williams has been named in the squad as cover for McGrath. Once a decision is made about McGrath's fitness, the squad will be reduced to 12.

NSP Chairman Trevor Hohns said: "We feel that the squad has the necessary depth for this Test match and it is for that reason that we have only made minor changes to the team that faced Bangladesh.

"Martin Love misses out on selection this time, which is a tough call considering his most recent Test innings saw him register a century.

"On that front his omission is not form-based, it's simply a case of not having enough positions to accommodate him. Martin has demonstrated his ability to step up to the Test level, and that's an encouraging sign for the future of Australian cricket.

"However Damien Martyn is an established Test player and deserves the chance to come back into the side after injury.

"We are keeping close watch on Glenn McGrath's progress from injury.

"The advice from the medical team is that his recovery from surgery is promising, but we will monitor his progress over the course of the next few days before making a final decision," he said.

Tickets for the first 3 Test can be purchased through Ticketmaster7 on 1300 13 61 22 or online at www.ticketmaster7.com.