Sydney: The International Cricket Council has announced Australia can replace dope-tainted Shane Warne in their World Cup squad for the remaining matches of the tournament.
But the ICC’s directive comes with a rider. If Australia replace Warne, they cannot bring back the leggie even if he is cleared.
The ICC announcement came even as coach John Buchanan said that Australia needed a specialist spinner to join their squad as soon as possible.
“We don’t want to go for too long with 14 players,” he said.
On Sunday, ICC general manager Dave Richardson said Australia could bring a new player even though Warne’s omission was due to suspension and not injury.
However, the ACB has not yet informed the ICC of their intention, though chances are that they won’t ask for a replacement until the result of the B sample.
“To me, the option is to have a spinner to come over. If (wrist-spinner) Brad Hogg got injured, that leaves Darren Lehmann and Andrew Symonds as our principal spinners and I’m not sure that’s the best possible combination,” Buchanan said.
“It will be important to have a spinner in our ranks...who we know could give us 10 overs.”
In another move, the ACB announced the composition of the anti- doping tribunal to hear Warne’s case next week. Former Test spinner and selector Peter Taylor, Queensland Court of Appeal judge Glen Williams and medical specialist Susan White will be on the board, it said.
Meanwhile, former Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson said the side should be penalised and not allowed a replacement.
“I’m not blaming Warnie and I am not disappointed with him but the team should be penalised,” the former fearsome pace bowler said.