x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Mike Hussey: Cricket Australia right to delay naming Bollinger replacement

Cricket World Cup news: The Australian batsman thinks it is right that Australia will not replace Doug Bollinger until later in the tournament, while Andrew Flintoff is back playing cricket.

Mike Hussey says Australia's selectors have made the right move in delaying naming a replacement player for the World Cup squad.

The selectors were able to call up an additional player after Doug Bollinger, the fast bowler, was forced home with injury, and surprised many when they held off on making that decision.

But Hussey, who has been widely tipped to get the call-up, along with bowlers Peter Siddle and Dirk Nannes, said it was correct for them to be cautious.

"The squad looks like it's going really well at the moment, the fast bowlers are fit and the boys have been playing really well," he said.

"It's not a bad idea just to wait and see how we go over the next couple of games and make a decision on a replacement then."

Hussey, who was forced out of the original 15-man squad with a hamstring injury, said the selectors had not told him how likely he was to come into the side.

The 35-year-old left-hander will make his return for Western Australia in their Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland which starts tomorrow, after a successful return to Perth club cricket on Saturday.

"It seems like an age since I've played a game of cricket so I'm really looking forward to getting out there," Hussey said.

"I'm feeling good. My training has been fine for over a week now ... I know I can go as hard as I like."

Hussey's international place has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks, despite starring in the Ashes series, but he said he has not seriously contemplated retiring.

"I love playing for Australia and it took me so long just to get one game, I don't want to stop anytime soon," he said.

"I feel like I'm a better player than I was five years ago ... I've taken a lot of confidence out of this year.

"I also take a lot of confidence out of watching guys like Sachin Tendulkar play so well into their 30s."

Andrew Flintoff to return to his cricketing roots

Andrew Flintoff is on the verge of making a remarkable comeback after signing for Penwortham in Lancashire's Palace Shield.

The former England and Lancashire all-rounder retired in September following his failure to recover from a knee injury.

Now Flintoff, who was born in Preston, is set to join his brother Chris at the club next season.

Club chairman Paul Walmsley confirmed Flintoff's arrival - subject to the necessary paperwork being approved.

"Andrew Flintoff has signed for Penwortham Cricket Club," Walmsley said.

"His forms will be sent to the Palace Shield league officials for their subsequent approval."

Walmsley could not hide his delight at securing the signature of one of cricket's biggest personalities.

"We look forward to seeing Freddie once he has recovered from recent surgery," he added. "He has expressed a keen interest to play alongside Chris and he will, of course, be made more than welcome.

"Obviously the prospect of having such a well-known former international cricketer playing for Penwortham is tremendous for our club and the competition in general."

Penwortham run four senior Saturday teams, one Sunday team and a Twenty20 team in the midweek league.