Sydney: Australian Test captain Steve Waugh was left out Monday as the Australia Cricket Board named its preliminary 30-man "shadow squad" for the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The squad will be reduced to 15 men by December 31 and players not on Monday's list could still be drafted to represent Australia at the tournament that begins on February 9, the board said. But there was little expectation of any return for Waugh, the 37-year-old veteran of 154 Tests, who led Australia to its eighth straight win of the Ashes series against England at the weekend.
Waugh was already axed from leadership of the One-day side in February and though he had held out hope of resuming his One-day International career, his absence from Monday's list of the top 30 Australian players appeared to doom that dream. Waugh's 10 teammates from Sunday's Ashes triumph over England were all in the initial World Cup squad along with some outsiders, including leg spinner Cameron White, paceman Damien Wright and the versatile Mark Higgs.
Selectors named three conventional all-rounders in Shane Watson, Andrew Symonds and Ian Harvey while West Australian wicket-keeper/batsman Ryan Campbell was also included. The squad will be trimmed to 15 players by December 31 according to the guidelines arranged between the World Cup's 14 participating nations. "This is really the first phase in selecting the squad to attend South Africa for the 2003 World Cup," the selectors' chairman Trevor Hohns said.
"There are a number of players we need to continue looking at over the coming month as we move to cut the squad by half. "That will be a challenging task because there are several players that could fill a variety of positions for us at the World Cup," he said. "So far we have selected a healthy mix of players - batsmen, bowlers, all-rounders and three wicket-keepers, which gives us a broad range to choose from when finalising our list." The Australian side is scheduled to depart for the World Cup on January 29.
The squad: Michael Bevan, Andrew Bichel, Greg Blewett, Nathan Bracken, Ryan Campbell, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Adam Gilchrist, Jason Gillespie, Brad Haddin, Ian Harvey, Nathan Hauritz, Matthew Hayden, Mark Higgs, Brad Hogg, Michael Hussey, Justin Langer, Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann, Jimmy Maher, Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath, Ashley Noffke, Ricky Ponting, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Shane Watson, Cameron White, Brad Williams and Damien Wright.