July 5, 2000

Ponting, Gillespie return for Super Challenge 2000

The Australian squad for the Super Challenge 2000 one-day international series against South Africa, to be played in Melbourne at Colonial Stadium in August, has been selected and is as follows:

  • Michael Bevan (NSW)
  • Adam Gilchrist (WA)
  • Jason Gillespie (SA)
  • Ian Harvey (VIC)
  • Brett Lee (NSW)
  • Shane Lee (NSW)
  • Damien Martyn (WA)
  • Glenn McGrath (NSW)
  • Ricky Ponting (TAS)
  • Andrew Symonds (QLD)
  • Shane Warne (VIC)
  • Mark Waugh (NSW)
  • Stephen Waugh (NSW)

In keeping with standard procedure, the captain and vice-captain will be named after a meeting of the Australian Cricket Board's Directors in early August.

The squad shows two changes from the one that was beaten 2-1 in the one-day series in South Africa in April with Ricky Ponting and Jason Gillespie returning after injury.

Ponting comes back after damaging his right ankle in a collision with a boundary board during the Carlton & United Series Final against Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 4 February.

The Tasmanian Tigers batsman replaces Queensland Bulls left-hander Matthew Hayden, who was originally called into the one-day squad when Ponting sustained his injury.

The injury, which required surgery, sidelined Ponting from the recent Coca-Cola Australian Tour of New Zealand and the ninemsn Tour of South Africa that followed.

Gillespie, currently playing Lancashire League cricket for Rishton in the UK, replaces Damien Fleming of the Victorian Bushrangers, who is continuing his recovery from the patella tendonitis he suffered on the Coca-Cola Tour of New Zealand in March.

The Redbacks fast bowler returns to the squad for the first time since suffering a broken right leg and left wrist in a collision with Stephen Waugh during the first Test against Sri Lanka in Kandy last September.

The Australian squad will assemble in Brisbane on Wednesday 9 August and train at Allan Border Field on the four days that follow, with two practice matches against a Queensland Invitation XI scheduled for Friday 11 & Sunday 13 August.

The squad will fly to Melbourne on Sunday evening 13 August and then train at Colonial Stadium on the two days that follow, ahead of the first match of the series on Wednesday 16 August.

South Africa, currently in Sri Lanka for Test and one-day series, is set to arrive in Brisbane on Saturday 12 August and is scheduled to train at Allan Border Field on both that day and 13 August before flying to Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.

They are also expected to train at Colonial Stadium on Monday 14 and Tuesday 15 August.

Ricky Ponting is currently in India on a private coaching trip, but reacting to his recall he said: "It has been frustrating to have to sit and watch over these past few months after a good run of form with the bat. But at the same time, it's also been great to see the side doing so well with record winning streaks in Tests and one-day cricket.

"It's left me itching to get back in action and now I'm fully fit I can't wait to be involved again, especially in something like Super Challenge 2000. The prospect of playing indoors and against the South African side that beat us in April has really got me excited."

Jason Gillespie said: "It's just great to be back in the Australian side after the lay-off I've had.

"All through my time out of the game the thought of getting back has helped to keep me going and to get the call-up is a great feeling.

"I reckon I was bowling pretty well in the one-day matches in Sri Lanka before I got injured so I just hope I can do it again if I get the chance in August."

The three matches will be played on August 16, 18 and 20.