Steve Waugh~~s World Cup hope is dangling by a thread
Published: Thursday, December 19, 2002, 21:22 [IST]
Waugh confused with ICC guidelines for World Cup
London: Australia Test captain Steve Waugh's chances of playing in next year's World Cup were left hanging by a thread on Wednesday after the International Cricket Council (ICC) clarified the selection rules for its showpiece tournament. Waugh, who has branded the rules "crazy", was not named in Australia's preliminary 30-man squad announced earlier this month. An ICC spokesman said that meant, barring two exceptions, Waugh was ineligible for inclusion in the final 15-man World Cup squad which Australia, along with all other competing nations must lodge with the governing body by December 31. The spokesman said the exceptions were "injury or special circumstances such as family bereavement". Earlier on Wednesday Waugh said he was prepared to start bowling off-spin if that meant he could be included as a replacement for Shane Warne in the event that the leg spinner was deemed unfit for World Cup duty. "I'm batting pretty well and I think there will be some opportunities," Waugh said. "If I am playing well and there's a spot there I'll be happy to take it. I could bowl off-spin if they want me to. Whatever's going I'm available." Warne dislocated his shoulder during Sunday's triangular One-day series victory over England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, throwing his World Cup participation into serious doubt. However whether Australia would be allowed to replace Warne with former One-day skipper Waugh, a useful limited overs medium-pace bowler who unlike his twin brother Mark has no track record as a spinner in top-flight cricket, is uncertain. Under World Cup regulations teams will be only be allowed to replace a player named in their 15-man squad after December 31 with the approval of the tournament's event technical committee. The committee, which compromises tournament director Ali Bacher, the former South Africa captain, and senior ICC representatives will appoint a panel of three doctors to examine the injured player concerned. And the regulations also state: "If they (the doctors) agree that the player is unfit to play a useful part in any match during the remainder of the event, the team may, with the prior written approval of the event technical committee, replace such a player with another. "This procedure applies whether or not the injury existed before December, However whether the word 'another' means simply another player or one of a similar type to the injured cricketer could yet be the subject of legal argument.