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Khawaja will be a standby for Ponting


Sydney : Cricket Australia (CA) Tuesday asked New South Wales batsman Usman Khawaja as a standby player for the fourth Ashes Test, if Australian captain Ricky Ponting doesn’t recover from a fractured finger.

Chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said Ponting will be fit in time for the Test, adding that Khawaja’s selection is only precautionary.

“While the NSP (National Selection Panel) are confident Ricky Ponting will be available for the Boxing Day Test, through an abundance of caution we have named Usman Khawaja as the standby player,” Hilditch said in a statement.

Khawaja will join the Australian squad when it gathers in Melbourne Wednesday. The 24-year-old is currently playing in the Blues’ Sheffield Shield match against Queensland at Blacktown.