MacGill back in contention

Spin bowler Stuart MacGill is back in contention for the Australian side after chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch denied there was a rift between the management of Cricket Australia and the sometimes wayward leggie.

MacGill seen as a maverick, lacking the discipline to make the Australian team has now been embraced by the selectors and is seen as a firm favourite to fill the vast gap Shane Warne left behind with his retirement.

“There is no doubt that it’s going to be a difficult hole to fill because Warne’s been so great over such a long time and has won so many Test matches for us,” the chairman of selectors said.

“We’ve been really lucky to have had MacGill.

“He has been a really good Test legspinner and he’s going to come into contention at the start of the next series.

“If he’s fit and bowling well, he is obviously the person to look for.”

Hilditch discredited claims that MacGill was excluded from the 2006/07 Ashes series because of poor behaviour, citing bowling strategies as the reason he was not picked.

“We regard Stuart very highly and to suggest his behaviour prevented him playing, there is no substance to that whatsoever,” he said.

“The reason Stuart didn’t play was because we wanted to go with the three-pronged pace attack, which was really instrumental in us regaining the Ashes.”

MacGill, 35, has played 40 Test matches and taken 198 wickets in a career largely overshadowed by the recently retired Shane Warne.

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