Sydney: Steve Waugh has been left out of the Australian squad for the World Cup while injured leg-spinner Shane Warne has been told he can miss the first half of the tournament to save himself for the final stage matches.
Waugh, who led Australia to victory in the last World Cup in 1999 and also played in the side that won the 1987 World Cup, was the only notable omission from the 15-man squad announced.
The 37-year-old was dropped in February after 325 appearances and despite attempts to reinvent himself as an allrounder, he failed to convince the selectors to give him another chance.
Warne, on the other hand, is considered so important to Australia’s hopes of retaining their title that coach John Buchanan said he could sit out the entire pool phase while he recovers from a shoulder dislocation. “We’re going to try to make sure he gets every opportunity to be on that plane across to South Africa,” Buchanan said.
As expected, Ricky Ponting was named captain with wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist chosen as his deputy. Jimmy Maher was chosen as the extra batsman while left-arm wrist spinner Brad Hogg was picked as the second spinner and Andrew Symonds as the extra allrounder.
Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist, Michael Bevan, Andy Bichel, Jason Gillespie, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hogg, Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann, Jimmy Maher, Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath, Andrew Symonds, Shane Warne, Shane Watson.