Indian Premier League champions Rajasthan Royals on Saturday included explosive Australian batsman Rob Quiney in their squad for the second season and also named two other Australians as replacements for Pakistan's Sohail Tanvir and Kamran Akmal.
Victorian Quiney was on Friday named in Australia's 12-man Twenty20 squad to take on New Zealand Sunday. Quiney's Victorian team-mate fast bowler Shane Harwood and Queensland all-rounder Lee Carseldine will replace Tanvir and Akmal, Rajasthan Royals Director of Coaching Darren Berry said.
"It feels good to have specialists like Quiney, Harwood and Carseldine in our squad this year. Surely we will miss Sohail and Akmal, but having these players in the team is a boon to the squad. Their presence will definitely add more spice and excitement to the matches in which they will be playing," Berry said.
Left-hander Quiney has been a consistent performer at the top of the order in Twenty20 cricket in Australia this year and made 91 in 57 balls for Victoria against New South Wales in the KFC Big Bash final recently.
Right-arm pacer Harwood, nicknamed 'Stickers', has been in the Australian domestic circuit and his match-winning 4-33 against South Australia took Victoria into the Pura Cup finals.
Carseldine, a useful batsman and left-arm medium pacer, was the player of the Twenty20 Series in Australia.
Berry said like last year his side has not gone for high profile players but signed those who would be available for the entire tournament.
He said the franchisee has identified three-four local players and an announcement in this regard would be made in a couple of weeks.
On his team's chances in the IPL this year, Berry said, "We were the underdogs last year but are the top dogs this year. But this a new year and a new group. I have had discussions with skipper Shane Warne in this regard and we have our strategies in place."
Commenting on the franchise's local players making it to the Indian squad, Berry said, "It comes as no surprise that Yusuf Pathan and Ravindra Jadeja have got an opportunity. Yusuf is a destructive player who like Andrew Symonds, can change the complexion of the match in 2-3 overs."
"Warne has always praised Jadeja, who I am surprised has not made it to India's one-day team that is heading for New Zealand. Watching Munaf (Patel) get back in the reckoning for a berth in the national team feels great."
Berry said he was disappointed with the cancellation of the Champions League Twenty20 following the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai last November. "We were eagerly waiting for the Champions league, but looking back at the tragedy I feel disappointed and upset for the people of the country," Berry added.