Sydney: Selectors will wait for more news on the situation of Shane Warne before announcing his replacement for the World Cup, the Australian Cricket Board (ACB) said on Wednesday. The star wrist spinner will appear before the ACB's anti-doping committee this week with his career on the line after testing positive for a banned diuretic and being sent home from the World Cup.
The ACB has not moved to replace Warne even though selectors have been told to consider a new player for the defending champion, which plays its second pool match against India at Centurion on Saturday. An ACB spokesman on Wednesday confirmed the board would wait for a clearer picture of Warne's situation before asking the International Cricket Council (ICC) if a new player could be sent to Africa.
The ACB is expected to ask for permission to send Warne back into the World Cup if he is cleared by the anti-doping committee despite his positive test. Without Warne, Australia has only 14 players in South Africa but the squad will be boosted by the return from suspension of Darren Lehmann and the likely availability from injury of Michael Bevan. With all-rounders Andrew Symonds and Ian Harvey starring in Tuesday's 82-run hammering of Pakistan, Australian selectors can choose from a strong 14-man squad.
Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns was expected to speak later on Wednesday with co- selector Andrew Hilditch, who is in South Africa with the Australian team. If selectors decide to send another spinner in a straight swap for Warne, Queensland off spinner Nathan Hauritz and NSW leggie Stuart MacGill appear the main contenders. Hauritz, Victorian Cameron White and South Australian left-arm spinner Mark Higgs were preferred to MacGill in the original 30-man squad. But selectors were initially told any replacement could come from outside the 30, leaving MacGill and even Test captain Steve Waugh eligible. But Waugh is not expected to be considered even if selectors decide to risk upsetting the balance of the squad by sending another batsman.