Australia salute England for keeper gesture

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Australia coach Tim Nielsen hailed England's sportsmanship in allowing them to bring in reserve wicket-keeper Graham Manou for his Test debut.

Updated: July 31, 2009 09:18 IST
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Australia coach Tim Nielsen hailed England's sportsmanship in allowing them to bring in reserve wicket-keeper Graham Manou for his Test debut here at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Australia suffered a setback shortly before the match started when regular wicket-keeper Brad Haddin sustained a finger injury during the warm-up.

Haddin had been named in the Australia team at the toss and that meant the tourists had to seek permission from England captain Andrew Strauss to select a specialist replacement in South Australia's Manou for an unexpected Test debut.

This series, which England lead 1-0, has seen some controversial moments with Australia captain Ricky Ponting all but accusing the home side of time-wasting during the drawn first Test in Cardiff and Strauss under fire for claiming a disputed catch during England's 115-run win at Lord's.

"To refuse is well within his rights," Nielsen told reporters. "It was a fine gesture.

"We used the England team doctor to assess Brad's finger, he was concerned about its stature, the process worked really well and for the game's sake we are now going to have 11 fit blokes on each team."

Nielsen added: "Haddin has fractured the end of the ring finger on his left hand. He was catching the fast bowlers at the end of the warm up.

"Knowing we were batting, he stayed out to catch a few extra balls, one dipped a bit and hit him on the end of the left ring finger.

"He's got a fracture in the last part of his finger."

Off-spinner Graeme Swann, who took England's wicket as Australia ended a rain-delayed opening day on 126 for one, said: "We've got no problem with it, I think it's only fair we let Manou play because we'd hope in a similar situation we'd have the same courtesy shown to us."

Haddin is now doubtful for next week's fourth Test at Headingley and Nielsen said: "We would have to be careful about the fourth Test but we will know a lot more when the specialist (in Australia) has looked at the pictures."

Australia officials were embarrassed earlier in the day when opening batsman Phillip Hughes revealed on the internet micro-blogging site Twitter he had been dropped before the official team announcement.

His manager Neil D'Costa took the blame for the incident and Nielsen said: "I can't honestly tell you how Twitter works. But it is one of those things that happen with the way the world works these days, in terms of communication.

"We have made them aware that those sort of things are needed to be kept in-house until they are announced officially."

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