Champions League Twenty20 October 6, 2009

Delhi eye McGrath for Vettori

Delhi Daredevils are set to include Glenn McGrath in their Champions League Twenty20 squad as a replacement for Daniel Vettori. The New Zealand captain had to pull out of the ICC Champions Trophy final against Australia on Monday with a hamstring injury he had aggravated during the semi-final clash against Pakistan. McGrath has already been alerted and is expected to arrive in Delhi on Wednesday pending the organisers' approval.

Delhi Daredevils' chief operating officer Amrit Mathur said two names, including McGrath's, had been sent to the tournament's technical committee. The second, Yogesh Nagar, was a replacement for England allrounder Paul Collingwood, who returned home after the Champions Trophy with a buttock strain. "We have sought the approval from the organisers to replace the injured players and have given the names of McGrath and Nagar, who were part of the original squad of 20," Mathur told Cricinfo.

Delhi have lost three overseas players in less than a week - South African batsman AB de Villers was the first to pull out due to a back injury, followed by Collingwood and now Vettori.

Collingwood's non-participation was confirmed through a press release from the ECB's medical team today. "The scan revealed a grade-two tear and Paul has been withdrawn from the forthcoming Champions League in India in which he was due to play for Delhi Daredevils," the release said.

McGrath's return could be interesting given his absence from competitive cricket since the semi-final of the inaugural IPL in May 2008. Though he was part of the Delhi squad in the second IPL in South Africa, the team management was wary of playing him because of fitness concerns.

Peeved at being ignored, the former Australian fast bowler had even spoken about not returning for the third IPL season next year, a comment he claimed he never made. However, he has reportedly told the Delhi coach David Saker he is considering whether to make the trip this month.

''He's contemplating coming over, but we don't want to rush him over unless he's going to play," Saker said in the Age. "It's school holidays, he's got his kids, he's away. I don't want to be in the position to bring him over and then saying, 'we're not going to play you'.

''He's obviously out of season, he hasn't been playing much. Do we get him over and then he's not ready to play? We're trying to talk to him about that but we're still tossing it up.''

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

Comments