Wednesday 4 June 2008 

Shane Watson Named To Replace Hayden In ODI Squad

All-rounder Shane Watson has been named as the player who will travel to the Caribbean to take the place of injured Matthew Hayden in Australia's One Day International squad.

Hayden was forced to return home after failing to recover from an Achilles injury which he picked up playing in the Indian Premier League - a tournament in which Watson confirmed he was back to his best by starring for the Rajasthan Royals, overall winners.

Watson, 27, has played 65 One Day Internationals for Australia and could well be asked to open the innings in the absence of Hayden, and Adam Gilchrist through retirement.

National Selection Panel Chairman Andrew Hilditch said:

“It is obviously disappointing for Matthew Hayden and the Australian side that injury has forced him out of the one-day tour of the West Indies. We will certainly miss Matthew as he is such a dominant force at the top of the order in one-day cricket.

“However this does create and opportunity to reintroduce Shane Watson back into the Australian one-day side. Approximately 18 months ago we identified Shane as someone we thought could open the batting for Australia in one-day cricket and in the opportunities he has had since; he has played that role extremely well. He also adds great flexibility to our bowling attack in this format of the game.

“Shane has had a disappointing run with injuries but finished our interstate season well and has sustained his fitness levels throughout the IPL tournament.

“Shane is an exciting young player and deserves his opportunity to return to the Australian side,” Hilditch concluded.

Australia play five One Day Internationals and a Twenty20 International. Other contenders to open the innings include Shaun Marsh and James Hopes, who also enjoyed good IPL tournaments, and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin.

The Twenty20 International is on June 21st, in Barbados.