Lee and Bracken stay in Twenty20 sights
Brett Lee and Nathan Bracken remain in Australia's plans despite long-term injuries after they were named in the preliminary 30-man squad for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean. Lee retired from Tests this week because his body can't cope with the workload, but he wants to return to national action in the limited-overs formats.
An elbow problem is Lee's current concern while Bracken is on the way back from surgery, but both have a tough task to win spots in the final 15-man squad for the tournament starting in April. Andrew Hilditch and his fellow selectors have also given hope to Brad Hodge, the 35-year-old batsman, who has not played for Australia since 2008.
There are four new players in the squad with George Bailey, the Tasmania captain, included as well as his state team-mate Xavier Doherty, the left-arm spinner. The Victoria allrounder John Hastings and Ben Cutting, the Queensland fast bowler, have also been given some encouragement after strong domestic campaigns.
"We consider the squad to contain a good blend of youth and experience with several players who have excelled in Twenty20 cricket both internationally and domestically this year," Hilditch said. "From this 30 we hope to pick a final World Twenty20 squad that if it plays to its ability will be a very exciting, entertaining and extremely competitive." Australia have been grouped with Pakistan and Bangladesh and must finish on top to avoid being knocked out in the first round for the second World Twenty20 in a row.
Australia men's squad Michael Clarke (capt), George Bailey, Travis Birt, Doug Bollinger, Nathan Bracken, Daniel Christian, Ben Cutting, Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin (wk), Ryan Harris, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, Moises Henriques, Brad Hodge, James Hopes, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Andrew McDonald, Shaun Marsh, Clint McKay, Dirk Nannes, Tim Paine (wk), Steven Smith, Shaun Tait, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White.
Australia women's squad Jodie Fields (capt, wk), Sarah Andrews, Kristen Beams, Alex Blackwell, Kris Britt, Melissa Bulow, Jessica Cameron, Sarah Coyte, Lauren Ebsary, Sarah Elliott, Rene Farrell, Katelyn Fryett, Rachael Haynes, Alyssa Healy (wk), Julie Hunter, Jessica Jonassen, Delissa Kimmince, Meg Lanning, Renee Melton, Shelley Nitschke, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Kirsten Pike, Leah Poulton, Angela Reakes, Lisa Sthalekar, Selena Tainton, Elyse Villani, Julie Woerner, Laura Wright.