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Australian squad for 1st Test vs India picked early for marketing reasons: Mark Waugh

Australian national selector Mark Waugh has lashed out at Cricket Australia's decision to force an early selection of the squad for the first Test against India, believing that the move was prompted by 'marketing purposes

Sydney: Selector Mark Waugh on Thursday claimed Cricket Australia's (CA) "marketing purposes" had hampered the Test selection process for the upcoming series against India, starting December 4.

Australia will name their squad for the first Test Monday, a day before a round of Sheffield Shield matches, that would have been extremely useful for selectors to gauge the form of several Test hopefuls.

Mark WaughMark Waugh is upset with Cricket Australia. File Pic/AFP

Waugh, who only joined the national selection panel in May as part of a reshuffle that saw Rod Marsh take the reigns as chief selector, was asked why he couldn't plead with Cricket Australia for more time before making a final call on the Test squad.

“Ideally, you would like to see the second round of Sheffield Shield matches but that’s not a decision the selectors have made,” he said.

“Cricket Australia have made that. It’s for marketing purposes.”

Waugh made the candid admission when asked why the squad for the first Test against India was being picked almost two weeks before the match.

Waugh Junior was livid that the selection committee would have to announce the squad a day before the second round of Sheffield Shield matches where the Test hopefuls like Phil Hughes, Shaun Marsh and Peter Siddle will be in action. "We're sitting down on Saturday to pick the first Test team," Waugh said.

“We’re sitting down Saturday to pick the first Test team. It doesn’t actually allow us to look at the second (next) round of Shield matches,” Waugh, one of the most elegant batsman of the 90's, was quoted as saying by the Herald Sun.

The current scenario forces the selectors to make their decision this weekend, also taking a potentially premature decision on captain Michael Clarke’s fitness.

Waugh was also asked why he couldn’t plead with CA for more time before making a final call on the Test squad.

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