Injured allrounder can be replaced for World Cup February 7, 2007

ICC says Australia can pick Symonds

Cricinfo staff

Andrew Symonds injured his arm while batting against England in Sydney © Getty Images

Andrew Symonds can be named in Australia's World Cup squad and be replaced if he fails to recover from a serious arm injury, the ICC has ruled. Australia made the request because they are unsure how long Symonds will be out with a torn biceps.

Symonds suffered the injury during Friday night's loss to England and had surgery on Sunday morning. Estimates on the speed of his return seem to vary from six weeks to six months, but he is in serious doubt for the tournament in the Caribbean. Australia's first game of the World Cup is against Scotland on March 14 while the more important Super Eight stage begins on March 27.

Australia must announce their 15-man squad by Tuesday and Cricket Australia did not want to be forced into a situation where Symonds would be picked in the outfit and then have to drop out, leaving them a player short. AAP reported Dave Richardson, the ICC's general manager of cricket, allowed the change.

The deadline has come at a difficult time for Australia as they still have the best-of-three CB Series finals to play followed by the Chappell-Hadlee Series in New Zealand, which starts on February 16. The selectors have hard decisions to make after Stuart Clark and Shaun Tait were left out of the 13-man group for the match against England at the MCG on Friday.