Australia in South Africa 2008-09 February 18, 2009

McGain not on first plane to South Africa

Cricinfo staff

Bryce McGain said he didn't sleep in © Getty Images

Bryce McGain, the uncapped legspinner, started slowly on his second major trip with the Australian team by missing the plane to South Africa. McGain didn't make the flight from Melbourne to Sydney to meet the national squad and finally joined his team-mates on Tuesday morning.

"It's amazing what 10 minutes late at one end can multiply out to at the other," McGain said in the Australian. "My plane hadn't left Melbourne for Sydney when I got there and I said to them, 'Just let me on the plane, don't worry about my bags', but they wouldn't do it. It was about ten to eight and they couldn't get me to Sydney by 10.30am.

"Unfortunately there was a lot of kerfuffle around flights into Sydney that day and the next plane was delayed and so my solution was to fly via Hong Kong. It was interesting, I caught up on a bit of lost sleep and finally arrived here this [Tuesday] morning. I thought there was going to be all sorts of grief when I got there but it seems OK."

McGain said he hadn't slept in and the paper said he was unlikely to face a serious punishment. Now 36, McGain started the tour of India last year before heading home for shoulder surgery.

If he can make an impact in the three Tests, which start in Johannesburg on February 26, it will be a relief to Australia, who have struggled to fill the spot left by Shane Warne in 2007. Nathan Hauritz has been the most-used slow bowler since Stuart MacGill retired and is also on the trip.