Friday, January 05, 2007

Hayden in preliminary World Cup squad

SYDNEY: Matthew Hayden’s World Cup hopes received a big boost Friday when he was included in Australia’s preliminary 30-man squad for the Caribbean tournament.

Test opener Hayden, 35, who was not part of Australia’s successful Champions Trophy campaign in India in October-November, was also named in the 13-man squad for the triangular one-day series against New Zealand and England, starting in Melbourne on January 12.

Hayden and Cameron White replace the retiring Damien Martyn and the injured all-rounder Shane Watson in the 13-man squad.

Australia’s chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said in a statement Friday, “Damien Martyn’s retirement provides captain Ricky Ponting with an opportunity if he chooses to elevate Michael Clarke and Michael Hussey in the batting order and to bring back into the squad Matthew Hayden and Cameron White”.

He further said that Hayden’s inclusion was well deserved given his performance in the DLF Cup (in Malaysia in September), his terrific form in domestic one-day games and the recently concluded Ashes series.

About Cameron White, Andrew wasn’t short on praise again adding, “He adds depth to the batting and balance to the bowling and hopefully we can see him seize his chance.”

Defending champion Australia’s 30-man squad for the World Cup will be cut to 15 before the February 13 deadline, Cricket Australia said.

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