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Clarke named Aussies Twenty20 Captain

Michael Clarke has been named captain of Australia for the Twenty20 international against New Zealand at the WACA on Tuesday.

Ricky Ponting and Matthew Hayden have been rested as part of Australia’s rotation system allowing for Clarke to take the reigns, notably ahead of vice-captain Adam Gilchrist.

Chairman of Selectors Andrew Hilditch suggested the move to give the 26-year old the captaincy was to enhance the leadership skills of Clarke.

“It’s very important that we have forward planning, this is a long term initiative to make sure that we have strong leadership whenever Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist and for that matter Mike Hussey are no longer in Australian cricket,” Hilditch said.

The other notable selection decision was the inclusion of Queenslander Ashley Noffke, Hilditch sung the praises of the all-rounder.

“He’s had an outstanding season to date, (we) couldn’t be more pleased with the way he’s going, he’s bowling beautifully, (and) obviously the Twenty20 is probably a reward for his all-round skills,” he said.

Noffke was suitably chuffed with his selection.

“I was pretty happy with how I’d been going and I was hoping that I was creating some sort of interest in my name,” he said.

“Getting selected is a pat on the back for myself and everyone that has helped me on that journey, yeah I’m pretty happy, but it’s by no means the end.”

The 30-year old who gained a Cricket Australia contract in 2001 and has been part of Test squads that toured England and the West Indies was coy about talk of Test selection.

“Hopefully I’ll be seen as a good option…going on the West Indies tour and just seeing what Test cricket is about was brilliant and I’d love to be a part of that,” he said.

Shaun Tait and Adam Voges were the other notable inclusions, Tait returned to first-class cricket last week in thumping fashion with career best figures of 7-29.

Hilditch was keen to hold his cards close to his chest when it came to the make up of the Boxing Day Test team and the possibility of a four-pronged pace attack, but he did suggest Tait would be in the reckoning.

Brad Hogg was surprisingly left out of the side but Hilditch was quick to point out that the make-up of the one-day side will differ to the Twenty20 squad.

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