Victoria have gambled on two debutants for their all-or-nothing Pura Cup match against Western Australia at St Kilda on Friday. Five teams can reach the final against Queensland at the Gabba from March 24, but the Bushrangers have a two-point buffer in second spot and can seal their place with an outright victory.
Dirk Nannes, the left-arm quick from the Fitzroy-Doncaster club, has been called up for Allan Wise while Grant Lindsay, an ING Cup Supersub, will replace Shane Warne, who will head to South Africa for the three-Test series with Justin Langer. "It's fantastic to be selected, especially for a game as huge as this," Nannes said. "I've worked hard at club and Cricket Australia Cup level to create this opportunity, so hopefully I can seize it and help the Bushrangers get through to the final."
While Victoria are in line to field two untested players, the experienced coaching staff of Greg Shipperd and David Saker had their contracts extended by Cricket Victoria last night until the end of the 2006-07 season. Shipperd said the extra time would help develop a squad that won the inaugural Twenty20 domestic tournament in January.
Western Australia have picked Clint Heron to fill Langer's shoes and Marcus North steps in as captain. The Warriors are third and an outright victory would earn their place in the decider for the first time since 1999.
Western Australia Marcus North (capt), Clint Heron, Chris Rogers, Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges, David Bandy, Luke Ronchi (wk), Beau Casson, Brett Dorey, Steve Magoffin, Ben Edmondson, Shawn Gillies
Victoria Jason Arnberger, Lloyd Mash, Brad Hodge, Nick Jewell, David Hussey, Jon Moss, Cameron White (capt), Grant Lindsay, Nathan Pilon (wk), Dirk Nannes, Gerard Denton, Shane Harwood.