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Lewis to replace McGrath for finals

The paceman will play in place of the ace bowler who has gone home to be with his ailing wife.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 13:10 IST

Paceman Mick Lewis will replace Glenn McGrath in Australia's squad for the best-of-three triangular one-day cricket finals this month.

McGrath, 36, who has taken more Test wickets (542) than any other fast bowler, withdrew from Australia's tri-series match against South Africa in Melbourne last Friday to return to Sydney to be with his wife.

His immediate availability is undecided as he assists his wife, Jane, during her cancer treatment.

Lewis returns to the Australian squad after making his debut in the Chappell-Hadlee series in New Zealand late last year.

"As we said last week, selectors are prepared to give Glenn as much time as he needs at this very difficult time," Chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Mick Lewis is a quality bowler and as we saw in New Zealand at the back end of last year, he can be really effective at the end of an innings.

"Given the opportunity to play we're confident he'll do a good job for the team."

McGrath has stated he has no intention of retiring from international cricket.

Writing in a Sydney newspaper last weekend, McGrath said: "I have some goals I want to achieve for Australia and I am hopeful I will get the chance to complete them.

"However, my family's interests are first and foremost, so we'll see what happens.

"Obviously we need to address the issue of Jane's cancer treatment, but my intention is to continue my career."

Australia will play either Sri Lanka or South Africa in the finals, with the opening match getting under way in Adelaide on Friday.

Squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Adam Gilchrist, Nathan Bracken, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Brett Dorey, Brad Hogg, James Hopes, Michael Hussey, Simon Katich, Brett Lee, Michael Lewis, Damien Martyn, Andrew Symonds.