20 May 2009

Symonds could be back in Australian test team today

5:59 am on 20 May 2009

The Australian cricket captain Ricky Ponting says he would "not be surprised" if Andrew Symonds' Test exile ends when their Ashes squad is revealed today.

The all-rounder has endured a string of off-field and injury problems over the past year, fuelling talk the 33-year-old will be overlooked for the series.

But skipper Ponting believes he will be named in the squad, saying he's had his battles but he's a great guy.

Ponting also indicated Brett Lee and Stuart Clark were set for recalls.

The pace duo have missed the Australian summer because of ankle and elbow injuries respectively, but both are expected to play key roles as Australia attempt to retain the Ashes they won back in 2006.

And Symonds could return just five months after he was fined by Cricket Australia over a remark he made in a radio interview - the latest in a history of off-field disciplinary problems.

Andrew Hilditch, David Boon and Merv Hughes will name what is likely to be a 16-man touring party seven weeks ahead of the first Ashes Test, which starts in Cardiff on July 8th.