Confused ACB officials seek clarification from ICC

Published: Friday, December 20, 2002, 17:00 [IST]
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Sydney: The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) on Friday admitted it may not have made its selectors fully aware that the final Australian World Cup side had to come from the preliminary 30-man squad. The ACB is seeking clarification from the International Cricket Council (ICC) about selection for next February's tournament in southern Africa. The Board wants to know the circumstances in which players can be replaced.

ACB chief executive James Sutherland said under the Participating Nation Agreement (PNA) it was clear the final squad of 15, to be chosen by the end of December, must be selected from the original squad of 30. However he admitted the ACB may not have emphasised that to Australian selectors. "The selectors chose the 30-man squad on that basis, but it may be the case that we did not communicate the fact that the final 15 players had to come from that original 30 as well as we might have done," Sutherland said in a statement.

"However, the PNA is not clear about the circumstances covering replacements to our final squad after 31 December." He said it was unclear whether Australia could replace injured spin bowler Shane Warne with a player outside the original 30. The Australian Cricketers' Association has accused the ACB of bungling the selection, costing players, like Test skipper Steve Waugh, a chance to break into the final line-up. "The ACA will seek clarification on how such an administrative oversight could have occurred, an ACA spokesperson said in a statement.

"In recent times the ACB has led members of the media and the general public to believe that players from outside the selected squad of 30 could be chosen in the final squad of 15. "The ACB like all other nations fielding a team in the 2003 World Cup has agreed to the terms in the Participating Nations Agreement and under this agreement, this is clearly not the case." It stated a clause in the PNA that specified that the final 15 players must be selected from the 30-man squad.

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