The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Martyn has 2 days to prove fitness

Johannesburg:Australia batsman Damien Martyn has until Saturday to prove his fitness for the World Cup final.

At that point Martyn will have to show he can bat and field without a problem despite the handicap of the fractured right index finger he sustained against Kenya in Durban last Saturday.

“Saturday is D-day for me in the sense of being able to catch, field and bat,” he told reporters after Australia trained on Thursday at The Wanderers, the venue for Sunday’s final. “There has certainly been a massive improvement from the first day when I did it and I have a chance to play.

“But I have never broken a finger before so it is hard to judge and although I can pick up a bat it is another thing swinging it and hitting a ball.

“I have also had cricket balls in my hand, throwing them up and down, but it is a different story catching and batting. I’ll see come Saturday and hopefully be able to put my name up for selection.”

Every player wants to take part in a World Cup final and Martyn is no exception. The 31-year-old was a member of the winning squad four years but did not play in the final and now he knows this could be his last chance of glory.

However, he said he would not risk the side’s chances by declaring himself fit unless he and the team’s management felt he could cope in a match situation. “I have spoken to Ricky (captain Ponting) and Buck (coach John Buchanan) and I am not going to jeopardise the World Cup final just for the sake of playing,” he said.

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