Reigning champions Australia have named a 30-man preliminary squad for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, in which they will be pushing for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory.
The squad for the tournament will be trimmed to 15 players by 19th January and the tournament gets underway when Bangladesh meet India in Dhaka on 19th February.
Included in the squad are batsman Brad Hodge and fast bowler Brett Lee, the former out of international cricket for some time but playing himself back into contention with a number of strong performances in domestic cricket and the latter making a bid to return from injury.
Chairman of the National Selection Panel, Andrew Hilditch, said: “We’ve selected an initial squad for the World Cup with an array of world class one-day players, some of whom tasted success in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup tournament. Our form in one-day cricket over the last 15-months has been good and we are hopeful this group of players will be able to push for Australia’s fourth successive ICC Cricket World Cup Trophy.
“There is blend of youth and experience in this extended group with exciting young talent like David Warner, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Stephen O’Keefe all pushing for inclusion in the final fifteen. These players have some opportunity between now and January 19 to push for a spot in the final squad of fifteen.
“Australia is the reigning World Champion and also holds the ICC Champions Trophy in the 50-over game. We’ve selected an initial squad with conditions in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in mind and expect this group to be equal to the challenge ahead.”
Australia preliminary World Cup squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Doug Bollinger, Daniel Christian, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, Brad Hodge, James Hopes, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Andrew McDonald, Clint McKay, Stephen O'Keefe, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Shaun Tait, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White
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