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Hodge and Lee back in Australia fold

ICC Cricket World Cup 2011

Brett Lee

Brett Lee has made a successful return from elbow surgery to earn a place in Australia's provisional World Cup squad

Brad Hodge and Brett Lee have been included in Australia’s provisional squad for the World Cup, which starts in February.

Hodge, who turns 36 later this month, has not played for his country since May 2008 and it is over three years since he featured in a one-day international.

However, the batsman has impressed in the Ryobi Cup - scoring three hundreds in seven appearances - and has been selected along with Lee, who has also performed strongly following his recovery from elbow surgery.

Victoria seamer James Pattinson is the only player in the 30-man party to have not represented Australia in any format.

The squad must be reduced to 15 by January 19, three days after the first ODI against England.

National selection panel chairman Andrew Hilditch said: “There is a blend of youth and experience in this extended group with exciting young talent like David Warner, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Stephen O’Keefe all pushing for inclusion in the final 15.

“Australia is the reigning world champion and also holds the ICC Champions Trophy in the 50-over game.

“We’ve selected an initial squad with conditions in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in mind and expect this group to be equal to the challenge ahead.”

Australia squad: Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke (vice-captain), Doug Bollinger, Dan Christian, Xavier Doherty, Callum Ferguson, Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, John Hastings, Nathan Hauritz, Brad Hodge, James Hopes, David Hussey, Michael Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Andrew McDonald, Clint McKay, Stephen O’Keefe, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Shaun Tait, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson, Cameron White.

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