The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) has issued invitations to the following players to take part in a three-Test series against Pakistan at neutral venues to be determined in October 2002.
Twenty-year old Queensland Bulls off-spinner Nathan Hauritz has been included in the Australian Test squad for the first time.
Hauritz, who toured South Africa with the Australian one-day international squad earlier this year and is part of the limited-overs squad departing on Monday for the Travelex Tour of Kenya and ICC Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka, said he was delighted to gain Test selection.
“I’m absolutely thrilled. Touring with the Test team will be a fantastic opportunity for me and it has come so soon after the selectors put me in the mix for the one-day team,” Hauritz said.
“The rise in my career has happened so quickly and it is going to take me a few days to calm down now that I have been included in the Test squad.
“But I believe I’m ready for the challenge and I can’t wait to get away for the next few months of cricket.
“I used the South African tour to look, learn and listen and I’ll take a similar approach to the Test series against Pakistan. If I’m lucky enough to get a Test berth, it will be a dream come true.”
The Bachelor of Commerce student claimed 16 Pura Cup wickets during the 2001-02 season, including best figures of 4-119 in the Bulls’ match against the New South Wales Blues at the Sydney Cricket Ground in March 2002.
In domestic limited-overs cricket, Hauritz took 18 wickets at 21.16 during last season’s ING Cup to finish equal second on the wicket-takers list. His best figures of 4-47 came against the Blues in the competition final at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Chairman of the National Selection Panel (NSP), Trevor Hohns, said Hauritz has obvious potential and has impressed the panel with his mature approach to the game.
“We believe Nathan has the potential to be a very good international cricketer,” Hohn’s said.
“He has been given an opportunity at the one-day international level and we felt that being part of the Test tour will help fast-track his development.
“His inclusion will also give us some added variety in the spin bowling department by having a player that can offer us quality spells of off-spin,” he said.
The squad has been reduced from 15 to 14 after Australia’s successful Travelex Tour of South Africa, which Australia won 3-0.
New South Wales leg-spinner Stuart MacGill and Tasmanian Tigers all-rounder Shane Watson have missed out on selection.
“We felt we had enough batting depth and quality pace bowlers to get us through the series, so Shane Watson has missed out,” Hohns said.
“With the only cricket on the tour being the three Tests, Shane may not have played, so we felt it would be good for him to be at home playing domestic cricket.
“But, as with Nathan Hauritz, we feel that Shane has the potential to be a valuable contributor at the international level, and we will monitor his progress closely.”
Hohns said there was only room for two spinners in the squad.
“Our preference was to take one leg-spinner and one off-spinner. That’s disappointing for Stuart MacGill because he has performed well when given his chance at international level,” he said.
“He is still very much in the mix for selection later in the year.”
The head of selectors said the Test series will be a tough assignment for the squad.
“This will be the first time the Australian Test team has played in seven months, during which time the program has consisted entirely of one-day internationals,” Hohns said.
“But the form of the Test side in South Africa was very good, which means there is no reason to make major changes.
“Taking on Pakistan away from home is always a challenging task, but we believe these 14 players have the talent required to combat Pakistan’s quality pace attack and talented batting line-up.”
The Australian one-day international squad departs for the Travelex Tour of Kenya on Monday 26 August. The Test players’ movements will be announced in due course.
Source: ACB Media Release