Alstonville quicks steps up to big time
FORMER Alstonville fast bowler Brendan Drew has been named in the preliminary Australian World Twenty20 squad.
The squad of 30, which was announced earlier this month, will be reduced to 15 in the next couple of weeks in preparation for the inaugural International Cricket Council's World Twenty20 Cup in South Africa in September.
However, the 23-year-old paceman, who was an integral part of the Tasmanian Tigers march towards their inaugural Pura Cup crown earlier this year, has had no time to reflect on his achievement.
The big right-armer is trying to further press his claims for a berth in South Africa this week by playing for the Australian Institute of Sport in the Emerging Players Tournament at the Caloundra Cricket Club on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.
The tournament sees the AIS playing against academy teams from India, South Africa and New Zealand.
The Emerging Players Tournament is in its third year having been claimed by South Africa and India in previous tournaments. It runs for 13 days and includes Twenty20 and 50 over matches.
Drew has been joined by fellow first class cricketers including NSW's Ed Cowan and South Australia's Mark Cosgrove.
The team will be coached by Brian McFadyen with Darren Lehmann, Dene Hills, Mike Young and Troy Cooley on the support staff.
The preliminary Australian squad is: Ricky Ponting (c), Adam Gilchrist (vc), George Bailey, Nathan Bracken, Luke Butterworth, Stuart Clark, Michael Clarke, Dan Cullen, Brendan Drew, Brad Haddin, Shane Harwood, Matthew Hayden, Ben Hilfenhaus, Brad Hodge, Brad Hogg, James Hopes, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Phil Jaques, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Andrew McDonald, Ashley Noffke, Marcus North, Luke Ronchi, Andrew Symonds, Shaun Tait, Adam Voges, Shane Watson, Cameron White.