|Player:||RT Ponting, A Symonds|
DateLine: 6th February 2007
For the second time in as many World Cups, Australian captain Ricky Ponting wants the selectors to take a major punt on allrounder Andrew Symonds. Ponting called for Symonds to be chosen in the 15-man World Cup squad, even though the Queenslander is set to be sidelined for at least a couple of months after undergoing surgery to re-attach his right bicep to the bone. The squad has to be finalised by February 13 and Ponting said he was happy to carry an injured Symonds through the early stages of the tournament if he can play a role later on. "There's no reason why Andrew can't be named in our squad of 15 players and come with us and hopefully be right through the middle of the tournament," Ponting said on Sunday. "He's a very important player in our team, he's a match-winning allrounder and would probably get picked in most world XI one-day sides, so we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope his recovery goes as well as possible." It was Ponting's recommendation that earned Symonds a shock selection for the 2003 World Cup - and it proved to be a master stroke, as the all-rounder was a key player in Australia's victory. Ponting also played a role in Symond's unexpected Test recall this summer, as the skipper has become a patron saint of his close friend's career. Australia plays its first World Cup match against Scotland on March 14, but the Super Eight stage does not start until March 27. However there are worries about the damage to Symonds's right arm, placing in doubt his ability to bowl his spinners and seamers, and also reducing his effectiveness in the field. The Australian selectors were set to meet to discuss Symonds on Monday.