Sydney: Australian coach John Buchanan has called for a speedy hearing so that the defending champions can have a 15-man World Cup squad with or without Shane Warne.
Buchanan said he would prefer a specialist slow bowler to replace Warne if he were suspended because that would maintain the original balance of the squad and provide back-up for left-arm wrist-spinner Brad Hogg.
Warne tested positive for a banned substance and withdrew from the squad last week. He is unlikely to be cleared in the near future.
“Basically we know we can have a replacement, that’s confirmed, so it’s now in the hands of the selectors as to who that might be,” said Buchanan.
The coach said Australia could not remain for long without a 15th player in their squad. “But ultimately we’re waiting for the outcome of his case, provided that’s going to happen in a reasonable time frame,” Buchanan said. “We don’t know what that is yet.”
Warne’s case will be heard Friday and a verdict in his favour seems highly improbable.
“The bottom line is that if the hearing is going to be delayed for some period of time, or the hearing is heard and then there is a process still to go on after that, I think basically everybody will think seriously, ‘we need a player’.
“We don’t want to go through this tournament for too long with 14 players. We need a 15th.”