Australia pick young talent to replace stars

Published: Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

More images
Sydney:Fresh from a record third World Cup victory, Australia's cricket authorities Tuesday turned their attention to replacing several retiring stars with young talent.

Four spinners aiming for the key spot left vacant by Shane Warne's retirement from the Australian Test team were named in Cricket Australia's list of 25 contracted players for the 2007-08 season.

They are World Cup star Brad Hogg, youngster Dan Cullen, veteran Stuart MacGill and 22-year-old Cullen Bailey, who has claimed 54 wickets in 17 first-class matches at an average of 41.51.

Bailey was one of six new names on the list. The others are batsmen Chris Rogers and Adam Voges, swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus and all-rounders James Hopes and Cameron White.

Glenn McGrath, Warne, Damien Martyn and Justin Langer retired, while seamer Michael Kasprowicz and batsman Simon Katich were cut from the list.

Chief selector Andrew Hilditch said Australia faced a great challenge in the wake of the retirements.

"This list of players still represents a very experienced group but also includes some exciting young talent that will ensure our reign as champions in both Test and one-day cricket can continue," he said.

"The retirement of Shane Warne is a significant issue for Australian cricket.

"While he is obviously irreplaceable, we are pleased that we have experienced spinners in Stuart MacGill, who has a great Test record, and Brad Hogg, who has just finished a highly successful World Cup.

"We will also look to Cullen Bailey and Dan Cullen to continue with their exciting development and realise their potential."

The retirement of veteran paceman McGrath also left "a huge hole", he said, but the new squad had exciting fast-bowling talent in Shaun Tait, Mitchell Johnson and Ben Hilfenhaus, who has joined the list for the first time.

"While it is still going to be a challenging time for Australian cricket, we consider it to be a very exciting one and are really confident that the group we have picked can help us to continue our dominance of world cricket.

"I don't want to underestimate the impact of (retirements of) the big players, I mean they have just been such great players, they will be a huge loss. It will be harder to win Test matches without them, that is just reality.

"But we have been planning -- it had to happen at some stage and we hope we have got the planning right."

The full list of contracted players for 2007-08: Cullen Bailey, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Daniel Cullen, Adam Gilchrist, Jason Gillespie, Brad Haddin, Matthew Hayden, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, James Hopes, Michael Hussey, Phil Jaques, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Ricky Ponting, Chris Rogers, Andrew Symonds, Shaun Tait, Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Cameron White.


Write Comments