World Twenty20 2010 March 30, 2010

Lee called for international return

Brett Lee will be back in Australian colours at the World Twenty20 after being chosen for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery last year. Lee, 33, retired from Tests to prolong his limited-overs career and his reputation has won him a spot alongside Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Johnson for the tournament starting in the Caribbean next month.

Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, would have liked Lee to have played more this summer but hopes he will regain match fitness with Kings XI Punjab in the IPL. "At his best he is one of the best Twenty20 cricketers in the world," Hilditch said. "He also has the opportunity of continuing to play in the IPL as preparation for this tournament."

Ryan Harris, who made his Test debut in New Zealand, was "extremely unlucky" to miss the 15-man squad while Travis Birt was overlooked after playing three matches during Australia's summer. The allrounder Daniel Christian holds his spot and Michael Hussey's experience and strong recent form earned him a trip. It is a strange selection because Hussey hasn't appeared in a T20 international since the 2009 global event in England.

"Dan Christian had limited opportunities in the lead-up to this selection but we see him as an exciting Twenty20 cricketer with his all-round skills with bat and ball," Hilditch said. "We've also added Tim Paine to give us cover in case of injury to Brad Haddin and, of course, Tim's ability with the bat more than warrants his selection."

Australia must finish in the top two of a group also including Pakistan and Bangladesh to avoid going out in the first round for the second tournament in a row. Their opening game is against Pakistan on May 2 in St Lucia before facing Bangladesh on May 5 in Barbados.

Australia men's squad David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (capt), Cameron White, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Tim Paine, Steven Smith, Daniel Christian, Brad Haddin (wk), Brett Lee, Dirk Nannes, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Hauritz, Shaun Tait.

Australia women's squad Jodie Fields (capt, wk), Alex Blackwell, Jessica Cameron, Sarah Elliott, Rene Farrell, Rachael Haynes, Julie Hunter, Shelley Nitschke, Erin Osborne, Ellyse Perry, Leah Poulton, Lisa Sthalekar, Clea Smith, Elyse Villani.

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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