The Hyderabad Deccan English Daily

Australia won't make T20 WC semis: MacGill

By Derek Michael

New Delhi, Sept 18 (IBNS) In spite of being Australia's leading leg-spinner between 1999 and 2005, Stuart MacGill has never toured India. All his four Tests against India have been at home. On Tuesday, MacGill was in Delhi, but not for cricket.

Wearing a black T-shirt and jeans and sitting bang on the front row, MacGill didn't escape the attention of the media that turned up in a city hotel for the launch of Hockey India's professional League logo.

MacGill and hockey?

The mystery was soon resolved when it was found out that the 41-year-old Western Australian was in Delhi as hockey legend Jamie Dwyer's manager. The five-time World Hockey Player of the Year, Dwyer is one of the brand ambassadors of the upcoming league.

MacGill revealed he was a hockey player before he learnt to spin the red cherry. And Dwyer has been a bosom pal since college days.

"I might be the manager of Jamie but I am his friend first. I had played hockey as a kid and I just love it. I am happy that Hockey India is giving chance to players like Dwyer to be a part of this event and that has enabled me to come into the picture," said MacGill.

On a day when the first match of the T20 world championship was just hours away, cricket was the obvious topic. MacGill picked India and the West Indies as his favourites. "I see India as the strongest contender, West Indies are not far away. The Caribbeans will surely be a surprise package in this tournament," said MacGill, who has played 44 Tests, three ODIs and 13 T20s.

"India have Harbhajan Singh and he is a very important bowler. Harbhajan's performance will be crucial and I believe he will win the title for India. As for West Indies, they have the talented Sunil Narine," MacGill added.

Interestingly, MacGill did not rate Australia too highly. Unlike an Aussie who wears his patriotism on his sleeve, MacGill chose to be more pragmatic given Australia's current T20 form. "I am sad to say this but Australia do not have a chance to be in the final of the World Cup. Their team is not that great and if they make it to the semi-finals, I will be really surprised," he said.



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