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14 December 201020:29

Tim Paine to lead PM's XI in CWC build-up

The 2011 Prime Minister's XI match is shaping up to be one of the most important in Australia's defence of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

Tim Paine to lead PM's XI in CWC build-up - Cricket News

Tim Paine will lead the Prime Minister's XI.

alent will be pushing for World Cup selection when they take on England in the annual Prime Minister's XI match at Manuka Oval on January 10 next year.

The 2011 Prime Minister's XI match is shaping up to be one of the most important in Australia's defence of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Tasmanian Tim Paine will lead a side selected on impressive domestic form with all players looking to stake their claim for a place in the final squad for the World Cup to be played between February and April next year.

Callum Ferguson, Dan Christian, Usman Khawaja and Xavier Doherty will all line up hoping to impress national selectors ahead of the Commonwealth Bank Series while Australian veteran Brett Lee will be looking to complete his comeback to international cricket.

National Selection Panel (NSP) chairman Andrew Hilditch said the match was an important part of the planning for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.

"The NSP has looked at this team obviously with an eye on the ICC World Cup knowing there are a number of players who are in line to make the final squad of 15," Hilditch said today.

"It is an exciting side that could well be a snapshot of an Australian outfit in years to come with the experience of Brett Lee playing the role of mentor for our young bowlers.

"Tim Paine has shown he is capable of playing at the highest level but we want to test his fitness after surgery on his broken finger and we are keen to see how he leads a team from behind the stumps. The entire squad have been in good form in domestic cricket and we are excited about seeing them perform against a strong English team."

Paine said he was looking forward to the challenge and giving the Prime Minister Gillard a win in her first match as the ‘national selector'.

"It's an honour to be asked to captain the Prime Minister's XI and I thank the Prime Minister for giving me the opportunity to lead this exciting group," Paine said.

"I've enjoyed the past couple of years as vice-captain for the Tigers and I look forward to the extra responsibility of leading this team against England in January.

"Having Callum Ferguson alongside me as vice-captain will be great as we've grown up playing against and with each other at different times. We have a pretty talented team together with a lot of players who have played international cricket or who have been around the Australian team setup so that experience should definitely hold us in good stead.

"With the World Cup just around the corner, this opportunity will provide everyone in the team another chance to impress selectors and push their case for a spot in the final squad to go to the subcontinent so there will be plenty of reasons to do well." Paine said.

Team: Tim Paine (captain), Callum Ferguson (vice-captain), Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Josh Hazlewood. Alex Keath, Usman Khawaja, Brett Lee, Tom Thornton , Nic Maddinson, Mitchell Starc, Josh Anderson (12th man)