Maddinson set for Shield recall but wait on for Maxwell, Pucovski


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Victorian cricket team operations boss Shaun Graf said Maddinson, whose issues have not been cricket related, had been cleared to face his former state at the MCG.

“I would think Maddinson would definitely be available for selection. He has been cleared to play by our medicos as per normal,” he said.

However, Maxwell and Pucovski will need to be cleared to play at the state level where the pressure is more intense.

“Maxwell has been cleared to play at this level [Premier] but not cleared to play at the next,” Graf said on Saturday.

He said Pucovski may need to return through Premier cricket before he rejoined his state teammates. Graf said it was important for all parties that Pucovski “is right because we
don’t [want] a situation where he is not right again, and I don’t think he does either. It’s important he is really clear in the mind and ready to go”.

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Victoria, the defending champions, are last on the Shield table, and would benefit enormously from having Maxwell, Pucovski and Maddinson available. Maddinson, the fourth-highest Shield run-scorer this summer with 389 runs at 77.8, and Pucovski, with 199 runs at 39.8, had been in Test calculations before their breaks.

James Pattinson has returned from a short break with his family and is eager to rejoin the Australian squad next week ahead of the second Test in Adelaide.

The fast bowler was dropped from the Australian squad in Brisbane, having been found guilty of a level two code of conduct breach for an alleged homophobic slur during a Sheffield Shield match for Victoria against Queensland.

He has apologised to teammates and is keen to atone with the pink ball in Adelaide, where state sources believe Queensland seamer Michael Neser will be firmly in contention for a Test debut.

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Meanwhile, Michael Klinger continues to firm to takeover as coach of the Melbourne Renegades, with Graf revealing a final call was expected to be made by Tuesday. More than a dozen potential applicants were contacted for the role, vacated by Andrew McDonald when he became Justin Langer’s assistant with the Australian side. Trevor Bayliss, the former England, NSW and Sydney Sixers coach, had also been linked to the role.

Klinger, along with fellow first-class veteran George Bailey, is also in the running for the vacant national selector’s role, where he would work alongside Trevor Hohns and Justin Langer.

Also, emerging Melbourne Cricket Club medium-pacer Fergus O’Neill, 18, nicknamed “Jofra” because of his “cool” demeanour, completed a hat-trick as the Monash Tigers were fired out for 51 in their first innings, chasing 8-279 (dec). O’Neill claimed 6-25, including the wickets of Marcus Berryman, Dominic Matarazzo and Sam Mills consecutively, leaving the home side at 7-24.

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