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ACB in confusion on rules over replacements for WC

Published: Tuesday, December 17, 2002, 21:23 [IST]
 
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Melbourne: The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) said on Tuesday it was confused about the interpretation of rules governing squad changes brought about by injuries during cricket's World Cup next year. The ACB has been re-reading the rules regarding injuries at the February-March tournament following Shane Warne's shoulder dislocation on Sunday night that threatened his participation.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Monday that Australia could pick Warne in its final squad of 15, due on December 31, but replace him even during the tournament. The ACB also want to find out whether Australia can go outside the preliminary squad of 30 players, named at the start of this month, if it has to replace Warne. Fellow leg spinner Stuart MacGill and Test captain Steve Waugh are among those who did not make the 30-man squad.

"Our understanding is there's flexibility in that, certainly there was flexibility in that (at) the previous World Cup and we don't see that's changed," ACB chief executive James Sutherland said on Tuesday. "I don't think it's entirely clear, all of those little issues." But the good news for the Australian selectors is they can pick Warne and even rest him during the early stages of the Cup tournament, which starts on February 9.

That will give Warne as much time as possible to return to full fitness. "The allowance within that, with injuries, is that a player can pull out at any stage after December 31, even after the tournament has started," Sutherland said. "They can be replaced, subject to confirmation by medical authorities that it's a genuine injury."

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