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Champions Trophy: McGrath reloaded?

The Australian paceman intends not to heed the advice of his skipper Ponting and make his comeback in the Champions Trophy in October.

india Updated: May 04, 2006 15:08 IST

Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath intends not to heed the advice of his skipper Ricky Ponting and make his cricket comeback in the Champions Trophy one-day tournament in India in October, reports said on Thursday.

McGrath, the most successful Test fast bowler with 542 wickets, has not played a game of cricket since his wife Jane was rediagnosed with cancer on February 3.

But the 36-year-old paceman wants to spearhead the attack as Australia seeks to regain cricket's Ashes against England here next southern summer.

McGrath missed Australia's recent tours of South Africa and Bangladesh to be by her side but, with Jane making steady improvement, he is looking at his comeback options ahead of the Ashes series.

Ponting has urged McGrath to bypass the Champions Trophy and have a playing stint in English county cricket to enable him to have some long and repeated bowling spells and regain match fitness.

But McGrath does not agree with his captain and wants to play in India.

"Personally, I feel that it would be perfect for me to (play in the Champions Trophy) and have a couple of games in the Pura Cup (domestic competition)," McGrath told The Daily Telegraph on Thursday.

"That's my plan. But if they (selectors) would prefer me to look at county cricket, I would look at that.

"I've got no doubts at all that I will be definitely ready to go. Now we've got to see what the best preparation is," said McGrath, who has begun pre-season training.

The first Ashes Test begins at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 23.

Jane McGrath was diagnosed with cancer for a third time earlier this year and although she's not yet out of the woods, McGrath said his wife seemed to be winning the fight.

"She's still going through treatment (but) it's only once every three weeks at the moment, so it's not too arduous and she's coping really well," McGrath said.

He felt it was a "little too early" to say his wife had turned the corner.

"There's still ongoing stuff and over the next few months we'll see hopefully a big change there," he said.