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Gillespie Almost Ruled Out

Ashes Cricket News - 07/11/02

Ashes cricket fans could be forgiven for being sceptical for thinking that Australian pace bowler Jason Gillespie may not go the distance in the first Ashes Test in Brisbane.

Gillespie was still doubtful to take the field as late as 30 minutes prior to the commencement of play at the Gabba, after pulling up sore from his 2x40 minute training sessions in the nets on Wednesday. Although Gillespie completed the net sessions without any sign of the leg injury, which ruled him out of the 3rd test against Pakistan in Sharjah, he is reported to have pulled up sore this morning. As a result, Brett Lee who was earlier named 12th man for the match was on standby at the Gabba ground to replace Gillespie at the last minute if required.

However, Australian team officials made the decision to play Gillespie, subsequently releasing Brett Lee from his 12th man duties, who was then required to make a flight to Sydney in order to play for New South Wales in their match against Tasmania due to start on Friday 8 November.

Gillespie, who has passed all fitness tests in the lead up to the Brisbane match, would be in danger of aggravating his leg injury if he is not completely 100% fit and is still suffering some any niggling symptoms.

In hindsight, it may well have been a better selection choice to include Brett Lee in the starting XI and allow Gillespie the extra time to guarantee a complete recovery without any residual soreness.

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