x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Australia opt for Lee over Harris

The veteran fast bowler was yesterday included in Australia's squad for the Twenty20 cricket world cup which starts in the Caribbean next month.

Brett Lee, the veteran fast bowler, was yesterday included in Australia's squad for the Twenty20 cricket world cup which starts in the Caribbean next month. Lee, 33, returned from an elbow injury on Saturday, when he took nought for 39 for the King's XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. But despite his lack of games, he was selected ahead of in-form Ryan Harris. "While Brett Lee hasn't played the amount of cricket we would have liked him to in preparation for this World Cup, at his best he is one of the best Twenty20 cricketers in the world," said Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors. "He also has the opportunity of continuing to play in the IPL as preparation for this tournament.

"Ryan Harris is extremely unlucky to miss selection given his strong performances in all forms of the game in recent times for Australia." Lee quit Test cricket earlier this year in a bid to prolong his international career in the limited-overs forms of the game. Mike Hussey, a Test regular, was also included in the squad, ahead of Travis Birt, while Daniel Christian has held his place as an all-rounder.

Ricky Ponting, the Australia Test captain, does not play Twenty20 cricket, preferring instead to focus on Test and one-day international cricket. Meanwhile, Bangladesh have recalled Mohammad Ashraful, their former captain, to their 15-man squad for the tournament. Ashraful failed to register a half-century in his last 13 international innings and skipped the recent one-day series against England, instead opting to try to regain form in domestic first-class matches.

But low scores in domestic cricket and in a warm-up game against the tourists cost him his place in the Test squad. @Email:akunawicz@thenational.ae