Embattled opener Matthew Hayden was on Thursday left out of Australia's 13-man squads for the upcoming Twenty20 Internationals and Commonwealth Bank ODI Series against South Africa even as speculation continues on his Test future.
National Selection Panel Chairman Andrew Hilditch made it clear the teams were chosen with an eye on the Twenty20 World Cup later this year and 2011 ODI World Cup while hinting he could not see Hayden playing a role in the two major events.
"The announcement of these squads for the KFC Twenty20 Internationals and the Commonwealth Bank Series is a clear indication we are now in full-scale planning for the 2009 ICC World Twenty20 and the 2011 ICC World Cup," Hilditch said.
"Winning a fourth consecutive ICC World Cup and our first ICC Twenty20 title is an ambitious project. For this reason there will be very few players selected from this point that we cannot see playing a role in achieving this goal," he said.
Hilditch, however, said it was not an end of the road for the 37-year-old Hayden and he might tour South Africa.
"The omission of Matthew Hayden from the KFC Twenty20 and Commonwealth Bank Series squads is not a reflection on his performances in the recent Test series but rather a strategic decision made by the National Selection Panel as we plan for these signature events," he said.
"His possible selection for the upcoming tour of South Africa will be discussed as with all players when we select a squad after the round of interstate matches at the beginning of February," he said in a statement.
Australia will meet South Africa in Twenty20 clashes in Melbourne on Sunday and in Brisbane on January 13 while the five-match Commonwealth Bank Series will begin on January 16 at the MCG.
Hayden's absence has made way for New South Wales opener David Warner.
"New South Wales opener David Warner has been selected in the KFC Twenty20 squad after some eye-catching performances particularly this year. He adds a dynamic nature to the top of the order and we look forward to seeing his performances at the international level.
"Queensland all-rounder Ryan Harris has also been added to the squad for the KFC Twenty20 games," he said. Shaun Tait made a comeback to the team after a long layoff due to personal reasons.
"It is exciting for Australian cricket that Shaun Tait has been selected in both the series squads. Although he has had some injury problems since playing a leading role in the 2007 ICC World Cup, he is an explosive weapon at his best and we hope he will play a key role in both forms of the game this summer," Hilditch said.
Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson will not take part in the two KFC Twenty20 matches or first two of the Commonwealth Bank Series matches.
"It has been advised by team medical and fitness staff that due to his workload over the last few months he should continue to be monitored. For this reason he will not be available for selection in these matches," Hilditch said.
Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said: The team will also miss the services of batsman Michael Clarke, who suffered some ligament damage to his right thumb during the first Test against South Africa in Perth, in the T20 matches.
Twenty20: Ricky Ponting (capt), Mike Hussey (vice-capt), David Hussey, B Hilfenhaus, James Hopes, Nathan Bracken, Brad Haddin, Shaun Marsh, Shaun Tait, David Warner, Ryan Harris, Cameron White, Nathan Hauritz
ODI: Ricky Ponting (capt), Michael Clarke (vice-capt), Brad Haddin, James Hopes, Nathan Bracken, Shaun Marsh, Mike Hussey, David Hussey, Nathan Hauritz, Ben Hilfenhaus, Cameron White, Shaun Tait, Peter Siddle.