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Australia Calls Up Khawaja to Ashes Squad as Cover for Clarke

Australia added rookie batsman Usman Khawaja to its squad for this week’s series-opening Ashes cricket Test against England as backup for Michael Clarke, who is recovering from a back injury.

Khawaja will join the 13-man roster in Brisbane as a “standby player” for vice-captain Clarke, Cricket Australia said in a statement.

Although Clarke didn’t practice today, Australian team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said he expected the middle-order batsman to train tomorrow and Wednesday ahead of the first Test starting in three days.

“We intend to give Michael as much time as possible to prove his fitness and a decision on his availability will be made in consultation with the team’s medical staff after the next two days of training,” Australia’s chairman of selectors Andrew Hilditch said in an e-mailed statement.

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