Australia, India and the West Indies tune-up for the ICC Champions Trophy at a one-day series in Malaysia this week, as international cricket has a rare outing in tropical Southeast Asia.
The day-night limited-overs DLF Cup will see each team play the other twice starting tomorrow (Tuesday) with the top two meeting in the final at Kinrara Oval on September 24.
It is the first time that Malaysia has hosted such a high-profile cricket event, beating off a host of rival bidders including Singapore.
All three teams have brought full-strength squads and will use the series as crucial match practice ahead of the Champions Trophy in India next month.
The tournament is Australia’s first international series since it toured Bangladesh in April and marks the return of paceman Glenn McGrath who has not played since January. McGrath, 34, has been helping his wife in her fight against cancer.
Australia are led by Ricky Ponting but vice-captain and wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist is being rested ahead of the Champions Trophy.
West Australian batsman Michael Hussey assumes his vice-captain duties while New South Wales wicket-keeper Brad Haddin replaces Gilchrist behind the stumps.
Test opener Matthew Hayden has been recalled to the one-day side for the first time since he was dropped in England last year, although he will not travel to India next month. Brian Lara, in his third stint as captain, leads the West Indies as they begin the long road to defending their Champions Trophy title.
With no full fledged spinner in the mix they will be reliant on their battery of fast and seam bowlers to fire out the opposition, including Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor, Ian Bradshaw and Corey Collymore.
India come into the event short on one-day match practice after South Africa withdrew from the recent tri-series in Sri Lanka over security concerns and heavy rain ruined their games against the host.
Led by Rahul Dravid, India have left veteran leg-spinner Anil Kumble out of their squad because of doubts over his fitness.
All 15 players who toured Sri Lanka, including master batsman Sachin Tendulkar, are retained for the Malaysia event although former skipper Sourav Ganguly has once again found himself out of favour.
The Malaysian capital last hosted One-day Internationals (ODI) when cricket was played at the Commonwealth Games in 1998. South Africa beat Australia in the final.
Schedule (all matches are day-night and at Kinrara Oval): Sept 12 - Australia v West Indies; Sept 14 - India v West Indies; Sept 16 - Australia v India; Sept 18 - Australia v West Indies; Sept 20 - India v West Indies; Sept 22 - Australia v India; Sept 24 ñ Final.
Source:The NewsMore on:Australia, Champions Trophy, icc, India, Malaysia, West Indies
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Monday, September 11th, 2006 and is filed under General.
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