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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SA drop Cosgrove but don't reinstate Bailey

The SA selectors have dropped Mark Cosgrove from the team to play Queensland here in the Pura cup four day match which begins on Friday. They have not seen fit to reinstate Cullen Bailey, who in today's Advertiser (p 94, not online) is pictured, with Dan Cullen, receiving coaching from Shane Warne, who has previously anointed them as his long term successors.

Warne's comments don't seem to have been reported online in Australia, but they have been picked up by a South African website:

Shane Warne wants Australia to use this month's threatened cricket tour of Pakistan to re-build the nation's ailing spin reserves.

Warne, Australia's appointed "spin ambassador" following his retirement from international cricket last year, said an overseas tour was an ideal opportunity to build a potent spin combination for the future.

The Australian team have struggled this summer to fill the spin void left by Warne, who finished his playing career with a world record 708 wickets before it was overtaken by Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan in December last year.

Warne spent Monday with South Australia's out-of-favour Cricket Australia-contracted spinners, Daniel Cullen and Cullen Bailey.

If Australia's squad was chosen by Warne, he would have all of Australia's leading spinners, Bryce McGain, Stuart MacGill, Brad Hogg and Cullen, included.

"Maybe for Pakistan they might have three or four in there and all just work together, a few younger guys around the Australian side, but they've got to warrant that as well," Warne told reporters on Monday.

"Hopefully we can have them perform consistently well in first-class cricket, talk to captains, get their fields right, understand how it works and hopefully see spinners performing well over coming seasons."

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