Symonds gets green light for World Cup - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Symonds gets green light for World Cup

By Daniel Brettig and Robert Grant 07/02/2007 06:02:18 AM Comments (0)

Australia has been given the green light to name injured batsman Andrew Symonds in their squad for the 2007 World Cup after the ICC ruled that he could be replaced if he fails to recover in time from a bicep injury.

Cricket Australia officials on Tuesday night sought urgent clarification of squad regulations after captain Ricky Ponting expressed his fervent desire for Symonds' name to be on the Australian list, despite the fact no-one is sure when he will return to fitness.

The ICC's general manager of cricket, former South African wicketkeeper Dave Richardson, is presently in the West Indies and was not contactable during Australian hours.

But overnight he relayed the word via an ICC spokesman that Symonds would be replaceable.

News of this favourable judgment will relieve the Australian selectors, who would otherwise have been making a considerable gamble by picking an injured player long before his fitness timetable was known.

The deadline for the 15-man World Cup squad announcements is February 13.

Ponting said Symonds, who underwent surgery to reattach the bicep in his right arm which he tore from the bone while batting against England in the SCG day-nighter last Friday, was a key player in the bid for a third consecutive cup.

"Absolutely," Ponting said. "If it works out the way that we think it will... the doctors have basically said six or seven weeks and he should be right to start playing again then.

"That sort of period comes at a really crucial time in the middle of the World Cup there so to have him around and playing those games would be great for us.

"He's such an important player for us and I know how much he wants to be at the World Cup as well, so we've got a lot of thinking to do to see if we pick him in the squad to take over to the West Indies."

Symonds' selection would give Ponting the players he wants, but may also give the tournament favourites a look of fragility, given that fellow Queenslander Shane Watson's injury record is particularly spotty.

But Ponting said Symonds' abilities were hard to resist.

"He'd be picked in any world XI one-day team," he said.

"What he gives our team with his batting, obviously his fielding and his bowling is a pretty complete package.

"I'd love to have him around, he's actually just a great personality to have around the team as well."

Ponting will always be likely to fight for Symonds' place in any Australian team after their experience at the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

On that occasion Ponting was almost alone in wanting Symonds in the squad, but the powerful all rounder responded to his skipper's faith by crashing a superlative century against Pakistan in the opening match and contributing greatly to Australia's eventual tournament victory.

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