Sixes to be a Waugh zone
In a dramatic turnaround from previous policy, the Australian selectors have named a strong squad, packed with youth and experience, for the 1997 New T&T/Cathay Pacific Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes.
The side will be captained by the world's top-ranked batsman, Steve Waugh, and he brings with him 2 other members of Australias victorious Ashes party in brother Mark, and talented all-rounder Brendon Julian.
Lining up alongside the three Test match veterans will be young Western Australian batsman Ryan Campbell, widely tipped for future national honours, Tasmanian Michael Di Venuto, who made his One Day International debut for Australia earlier this year in South Africa, and controversial big-hitting Queenslander Andrew Symonds, who toyed briefly with the idea of playing for England, before returning to Australia to stake his claim for senior representative honours.
Completing the squad is Victorian all rounder Ian Harvey, who made an impressive debut at last years tournament.
Brian Catton, Executive Director of Cricket World International was delighted at the Australian response this year. "The Australian Cricket Board has done us proud, showing wonderful support for the Hong Kong Sixes," he said.
Less than three weeks ago, South Africa announced their squad to challenge for the trophy they clinched in 1995. Led by Sixes veteran Adrian Kuiper, who once smashed Australian paceman Craig McDermott for three successive sixes, and aggressive all-rounder Bradley Player, the squad boasts the international experience of Fanie de Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs and Derek Crookes, combining this with the youthful talent of Roger Telemachus and Dean Laing.
"We have selected a team of proven Test stars and Sixes specialists," commented Dr Ali Bacher, "and we're quietly confident of bringing back the trophy we won in 1995."
Bachers words indicate just how seriously the South Africans take this event, but the task ahead of them is not going to be an easy one, with the strong Australian side announced today, together with a star-studded England squad all looking like contenders for the title.
With the prospect of top-notch squads from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India also looming, this years Sixes promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
Hong Kong Team (Announced June 14): Stewart Brew (Capt), Rodney Bannister, Riaz Farcy, Pat Fordham, Rahul Sharma, Andrew Yates, Mohammad Zubair.
England Team (Announced July 3): Adam Hollioake (Capt), Alistair Brown, Dougie Brown, Mark Ealham, Mathew Fleming, Ben Hollioake, Graham Lloyd.
South African Team (Announced August 12): Adrian Kuiper (Capt), Derek Crookes, Fanie De Villiers, Herschelle Gibbs, Dean Laing, Bradley Player, Roger Telemachus.
Australian Team (Announced August 27): Steve Waugh (Capt), Ryan Campbell, Michael Di Venuto, Ian Harvey, Brendon Julian, Andrew Symonds, Mark Waugh.