Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tait banned from playing in IPL

Cricket Australia have refused to allow fast bowler Shaun Tait to play in the Indian Premier League because of fitness concerns.

The 26-year-old was due to play for Shane Warne's Rajasthan Royals, the defending champions, in Saturday's first game against Bangalore.

But Australian officials were concerned he had not recovered from a hamstring injury sustained two months ago.

"He's still working through the rehab programme," spokesman Peter Young said.

Tait is the latest in a series of Australians to withdraw from the lucrative tournament, whichj is being staged in South Africa this year because of security concerns.

Shane Watson, IPL Player of the Season last year, will instead be part of Australia's squad for a series against Pakistan in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, along with fellow all-rounder Andrew Symonds.

Brett Lee, meanwhile, is recovering from injury and skipper Ricky Ponting and Mike Hussey have decided to rest ahead of this summer's ICC World Twenty 20 and Ashes series in England.

Tait's manager, Andrew McRitchie, was unhappy with the decision to rest the paceman, who is close to full fitness after almost two months of a radical treatment involving injections of his own blood into the problem area.

"The IPL was the only chance to prove his fitness before the squad for the Twenty20 World Cup was picked," McRitchie said. "How he proves that now, I don't know."