Cricket Australia looks to the future - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cricket Australia looks to the future

By Jim Morton 19/04/2005 06:40:09 PM Comments (0)

Australia has officially started the process of preparing for the 2007 cricket World Cup by restocking its contracted-player list with an injection of youth.

Cut from Cricket Australia's annual 25-man list was six 30-somethings, headed by Darren Lehmann, and replaced by five players 27 and under plus improving Victorian seamer Mick Lewis, 30.

The additions of 21-year-olds Daniel Cullen and Cameron White - included along with all-rounder James Hopes (26), wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin (27) and left-arm quick Nathan Bracken (27) - boosts the overall under-25 contingent to five.

Left off the list with Lehmann were Brad Williams (30), Martin Love (31), Jimmy Maher (31), Ian Harvey (33) and Matthew Elliott (33), sounding a likely death knell to their international careers.

Despite Australia's dominance in both forms of the game in recent years, the dearth of young bloods has been seen as a concern.

Only three (Michael Clarke, Brett Lee and Simon Katich) of the 13-man squad which thumped New Zealand 2-0 in last month's Test series are in their 20s.

Although unfazed by the ageing nature of the world champions, chief selector Trevor Hohns admitted the new contracts showed his national panel had an eye on another World Cup defence in the Caribbean in 2007.

"It's probably a little bit of a start in that process," Hohns said.

"We haven't really started to prepare properly for that but probably in the next season or so we'll certainly start to sift out who we think will be at the 2007 World Cup and who we possibly think won't make it.

"Whilst our Test match side and one-day side are performing well and beating everybody age certainly isn't an issue but as our players get older it's something we have to be mindful of.

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