Sydney: Steve Waugh's faint hopes of earning a place in Australia's World Cup side were dashed on Tuesday when the Test skipper was omitted from the final 15-man squad for the tournament. Waugh had hoped to force his way back into the team after being controversially left out of an initial 30-man squad, a decision, which provoked a media outcry in Australia. But Tuesday's announcement signals that selectors believe the 37-year-old's One-day career is over.
Spin king Shane Warne was named in the 15-man team despite being an uncertain starter after dislocating his shoulder recently. If he fails to reach full fitness he can be replaced in the squad. All-rounder Andrew Symonds and left-arm wrist spinner Brad Hogg were the surprise selections and versatile Queenslander Jimmy Maher won a berth as an extra batsman. Hogg, 31, has played just one Limited Overs match in the past six years but his effort when filling in for the injured Shane Warne in Perth earlier this month sealed his selection.
Symonds' star had been waning over the past season after indifferent performances but national selection chairman Trevor Hohns said the Queenslander offered "match- winning potential" and that his fielding alone made him a stand-out. Hohns said Hogg, Maher and Symonds would get an opportunity to play in Australia's remaining tri series matches against England and Sri Lanka this summer. The other 12 players in the Ricky Ponting-led squad picked themselves after consistent performances in the past year. Australia departs for South Africa on January 30 to defend the trophy it won in 1999 and starts its World Cup campaign with a match against Pakistan in Johannesburg on February 11.
Australia: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist (vice-captain), Michael Bevan, Andy Bichel, Jason Gillespie, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann, Jimmy Maher, Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Shane Watson.