Symonds omitted, Brett Lee and Watson included in Ashes squad | world | Hindustan Times
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Symonds omitted, Brett Lee and Watson included in Ashes squad

world Updated: May 20, 2009 14:27 IST

All rounder Shane Watson was on Wednesday preferred over controversial Andrew Symonds in the 16-man Australian squad for the Ashes series against England.

Cricket Australia's National Selection Panel (NSP), headed by Andrew Hilditch, also recalled Brett Lee and Stuart Clark, making it a five-strong pace battery.

Symonds, playing IPL-II in South Africa, had played in the one-day series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi after spending a very long time out of the team due to many reasons including injuries and off-field antics.

The selectors announced the squad with 50 days to go for the first Test, to be played in Cardiff.

All-rounders Marcus North and Andrew McDonlad have also been included in the squad.

Hilditch said McDonald has been rewarded for his consistent good showing and though Watson has been selected, his fitness would be under the scanner.

"Shane Watson has been named in the squad subject to fitness, but that is not expected to be a serious issue as he is recovering from a very mild groin strain at present and is expected to be fully fit for the ICC World Twenty20 in the UK and the commencement of the Ashes," Hilditch said.

Squad: Ricky Ponting (c), Michael Clarke (vc), Stuart Clark, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Phillip Hughes, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Graham Manou, Andrew McDonald, Marcus North, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson.