Geraint Jones, Blessing Mahwire and Tapash Baisya are among the shock omissions from the thirteen-man ICC World XI chosen to play Australia in a six-day exhibition game at the Sydney Cricket Ground in October.
The prospect of a new-ball pairing of Shabbir Ahmed and Jermaine Lawson will be denied to the five or six thousand spectators expected to pack the SCG for the match, a fundraiser to support the noble cause of the winning team’s wallets.
There’ll be no Paul Wiseman, no Donovan Pagon, no Murali Kartik, no Dinesh Karthik, no Dinesh Mongia, no Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara Herath.
The snubbing of these fine cricketers is made all the more shocking when the inexperience of the selection panel is examined. A staggering six selectors were used (S Gavaskar, M Atherton, Sir R Hadlee, C Lloyd, J Rhodes, PA de Silva), each and every one of them making their Johnnie Walker Super Series selectorial debut.
The team, in likely batting order, is: Graeme Smith (capt), Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid (vc), Brian Lara, Jacques Kallis, Andrew Flintoff, Shaun Pollock, Mark Boucher (wk), Daniel Vettori, Muttiah Muralitharan, Shoaib Akhtar. Steve Harmison is expected to be the Johnnie Walker Drinks Waiter, while Sachin Tendulkar is a red-hot favourite to be the Reebok Last Minute Injury Withdrawal.
Johnnie Walker, Reebok, LG, ABN Amro, Mastercard, Hero Honda, Hyundai and Emirates Airlines are among the companies expected to lose millions of dollars in revenue when the game finishes just after tea on the third day.