Lee, Watson in T20 squad
SYDNEY: Speedster Brett Lee and resurgent all-rounder Shane Watson were on Tuesday named in Australia's Twenty20 World Championship squad despite injury clouds over both players.
Lee has not bowled for Australia since suffering foot and ankle problems in December's Boxing Day Test against South Africa, while stress fractures in his back have prevented Watson from competitive bowling since November. Both are hoping to return to the international stage on Thursday, when Australia take on Pakistan in a Twenty20 match in the United Arab Emirates.
Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch was confident the pair would perform with the ball at the world championship in England next month. "Brett Lee is progressing well," Hilditch said.
"We expect it will take him a few games to regain his rhythm after the extended break, but the medical and coaching staff are very confident Brett will be back to his best for this tournament." He said Watson added "strength and versatility" to the side.
All-rounder Andrew Symonds and "explosive" opener David Warner were also named in the squad, which will be captained by Ricky Ponting. The squad features a strong bowling element, with Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle, who were rested from the series against Pakistan, alongside Nathan Bracken, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes and spinner Nathan Hauritz.
SQUAD: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice captain), Nathan Bracken, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Andrew Symonds, David Warner, Shane Watson.
South Africa pick Kallis
JOHANNESBURG: The South African selectors recalled all-rounder Jacques Kallis for the World Twenty20 tournament in England during June.
They also named off-spinner Johan Botha as vice-captain. He underwent an independent test of his bowling action in Perth last Thursday after being reported for having a suspect action during a one-day series against Australia last month.
Cricket South Africa is awaiting the test report, which could result in him being barred from bowling in international cricket. Kallis, 33, has played in only four of South Africa's 18 Twenty20 internationals and appeared to have been discarded for the shortest form of the game when not selected for two home T20 internationals against Australia.
He was a controversial omission when South Africa hosted the inaugural World Twenty20 in 2007.
But he has been performing well for the Bangalore Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League (IPL) being played in South Africa and his bowling is regarded as a valuable asset in English conditions. There are no surprises or new caps in the 15-man squad.
SQUAD: Graeme Smith (captain), Johan Botha (vice-captain), Yusuf Abdulla, Mark Boucher, AB de Villiers, JP Duminy, Herschelle Gibbs, Jacques Kallis, Albie Morkel, Morne Morkel, Justin Ontong, Wayne Parnell, Robbie Peterson, Dale Steyn, Roelof van der Merwe.