Australia call up Symonds (21 October 1998)

Wednesday 21 October 1998

Australia call up Symonds

By Charles Randall

AUSTRALIA have drafted Andrew Symonds, the 'willhe-won't-he?' England-born batsman, into their one-day squad for the international tournament in Bangladesh, which starts in Dhaka this weekend.

The Queenslander is in the frame for his Australia debut as a replacement for Tom Moody, Worcestershire's captain, who withdrew with a knee injury suffered during the Commonwealth Games.

The name of Symonds is still imprinted on the minds of England's players for having opted to play a second season for Gloucestershire in 1996, having declined a place on the previous winter's England A tour to keep his Australian options open.

He has a good chance at some stage of breaking into the side, because Australia are less formidable at the one-day version there than they are at Test cricket.

Australia will be one of the last countries to gather for the tournament, as most of them arrive after the weekend for next Wednesday's first-round match against India.

England, captained by Adam Hollioake, left nothing to chance by arriving last weekend, but rain and muddy conditions have already hampered practice before their game against South Africa on Sunday.

Rain permitting, England play Zimbabwe today in their first warm-up game about 30 miles outside Dhaka, with another against Bangladesh scheduled for Friday.

Success in Bangladesh is crucial for England, as the selectors are due to decide next month the likely squad for the one-day series in Australia, starting in January.

Though that is a good guide to their intentions for the World Cup, several players on the provisional list last summer, such as the Leicestershire team-mates Ben Smith and Paul Nixon, are not eligible for the Bangladesh event because they are non-international players.

David Graveney, chairman of selectors, said: "We had an agreement with the International Cricket Council to only choose players who had already played at one-day international level."

England's party for the tour of Australia are due to fly out from Heathrow today for what Alec Stewart regards as the biggest of all challenges.

Australia squad (for Bangladesh t'ment): *S Waugh, M Waugh, M Bevan, -A Gilchrist, D Lehmann, D Martyn, R Ponting, A Symonds, G Robertson, B Young, B Julian, M Kasprowicz, D Fleming, G McGrath.

Source :: Electronic Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)