VB Series, 2005-06 February 4, 2006

McGrath keen to play despite wife's cancer setback

Cricinfo staff

Glenn McGrath could return to face South Africa on Sunday © Getty Images
After the setback of hearing the news that his wife has suffered a recurrence of cancer, Glenn McGrath could yet continue to play in the VB Series, and might return to the side which faces South Africa at Sydney on Sunday.

"I know he is quite keen to play, so that's what they [the family] will have to work out," Adam Gilchrist, Australia's vice-captain, said on Saturday. "Longer term, I don't know. We just have to let the dust settle a little bit and really give them a chance to work out what's best for them and then secondary to that is what's best for the team.

"I have just spoken with Pigeon [McGrath] this morning [and he is] very optimistic and very positive," Gilchrist added. "If anyone knows how to deal with it, those guys do."

Australia have already booked their berth in the finals of the VB Series. Meanwhile, South Africa must beat Australia on Sunday or else face "live" final qualifying match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday. Graeme Smith, South Africa's out-of-form captain, was dismissed for a second-ball duck against Australia on Saturday; he has yet to make a fifty this series.

Herschelle Gibbs - who, on 33, played a rash slog and was bowled by James Hopes - was criticised by his coach, Mickey Arthur. "It was an irresponsible shot," Arthur said, "bearing in mind that we had got Botha in to take the pressure off him."