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Selectors give ultimatum to McGrath

The pacer has been given an ultimatum to play a lead-up match if he is to be considered for Australia's Test series against South Africa.

india Updated: Feb 20, 2006 11:51 IST

Selectors have delivered fast bowler Glenn McGrath an ultimatum to play a lead-up match if he is to be considered for Australia's Test series next month in South Africa, the cricketer said on Monday.

McGrath skipped last week's limited overs tri-series finals against Sri Lanka and the one-day section of the South Africa tour to be with his wife, Jane, who has had a recurrence of breast cancer.

With time running out, chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns had told McGrath he needed to play in a match before being considered for selection in the South African series, McGrath told local radio.

The New South Wales team's next four-day match is against Tasmania in Hobart starting on March 2.

"I think in another week or two they (selectors) will look at selecting the Test tour," McGrath said.

"It makes it a lot more difficult to have to play a match before the team selection, which cuts down my time by quite a lot.

"I think in all fairness that makes it quite difficult to make the Test tour. We'll see how things go. My priority is Jane and cricket has taken a back seat," he said.

McGrath, who is Test cricket's leading wicket-taking fast bowler with 542 wickets in 119 Tests, has been keeping up his work in the nets and gym, and said he hadn't entirely written off joining his team-mates for the three-Test series, starting in Cape Town on March 16.

"I haven't written off the South Africa Test series yet.

First Published: Feb 20, 2006 11:51 IST