Kochi team for IPL to be announced by March: Lawson

Kochi, Jan 19 (PTI) Kochi IPL team coach Geoff Lawsontoday said the entire squad would be announced by March, aheadof the April 8 start of the fourth season.

Speaking to reporters after a selection trial in which43 local players took part, Lawson said, "The team will beannounced by March. We will do a thorough research... a(selection) camp was held in Mumbai also."

The Australian did not mention any names that were likelyto make it to the Kochi IPL team from the selection trialshere but said he was "impressed with the local talent".

"It looks like they''ve got what it takes."

On the question of who would captain the Kochi team,Lawson said Sri Lanka batsman Mahela Jayewardene was thelikely candidate.

During the IPL players'' auction held this month, Kochibought 17 players and later added six more uncapped Indiaplayers to its squad. Each IPL team is permitted to have amaximum of 30 players in its squad.

On Pakistani players being excluded from IPL 2011,Lawson, a former Pakistan coach, said, "It is a loss, theyshould have been part of IPL."

Assessing India''s chances in the World Cup, he said, "Ifthey can (afford to) leave out someone like Sreesanth, theyshould be a very good team. India is a strong team."

The former Australian speedster said South Africa, SriLanka, England and India are the teams that are likely toreach the semifinals of the World Cup, but warned "never ruleout Australia."

When asked about the name for the Kochi IPL team, whichis yet to get an official name, he merely said, "experts arediscussing." PTI UD ARP SHN

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