'12th man' Lee picked for Australia 'A'

Published: Tuesday, December 21, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:Brett Lee, who has endured a frustrating run as Test cricket 12th man, has been picked for Australia 'A' in One-day matches against Pakistan and West Indies next month.

The fast bowler was Tuesday included in a 13-man Australia 'A' squad for One-day matches against the West Indies at Hobart's Bellerive Oval (January 8 and 9), another against Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval (January 12) and then the country's first international Twenty20 match, against Pakistan in Adelaide on January 13.

Lee has been 12th man for seven straight Tests, including Australia's three Test wins at home this southern summer, raising concerns about his lack of match practice.

He appears unlikely to break into a dominant Test side for the remaining two Tests against Pakistan barring injury to Glenn McGrath, Jason Gillespie or Michael Kasprowicz because of their outstanding form.

National selection chairman Trevor Hohns said his panel wanted Lee to get some match time and the Australia 'A' games represented a good opportunity.

"We are mindful of the lack of opportunity Brett has had this summer so we feel that these games should give him some useful match practice," Hohns said Tuesday.

"We will review his place in the A-squad if he takes part in the Melbourne or Sydney Test matches, given he then would have had some bowling under his belt. But in his best interests we want to have some game-time organised for him if the Test line-up remains the same."

Hohns said the selectors had overlooked some experienced players to take a look at some emerging talent in the Australia 'A' team.

"We are comfortable that this is a strong squad. There are several players who could consider themselves unlucky not to be selected, including plenty of experienced names," Hohns said.

"However on this occasion we wanted to have a look at some emerging talent, to see how they go at the next level.

"We will review this squad when we sit down to settle the Australian line-up for the VB Series (triangular series against Pakistan and West Indies)," Hohns added.

Australia 'A' squad: Brad Haddin, (captain), Michael Hussey, Nathan Hauritz, James Hopes, Brad Hodge, David Hussey, Brett Lee, Michael Lewis, Marcus North, Shaun Tait, Dominic Thornely, Cameron White, Damien Wright.

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