Five Ashes tourists in Australian Sixes side

FIVE members of Australia's all-conquering Ashes tourists have been selected in their country's first official side for the Cathay Pacific/Wharf Holdings Hong Kong International Cricket Sixes.

The Australian Cricket Board announced their six-strong line-up yesterday for the second Sixes tournament, which will take place at the Kowloon Cricket Club on Friday, October 1, and Saturday, October 2.

Test match wicketkeeper Ian Healy will captain the team and is joined by the Waugh twins, Steve and Mark, young batsmen Matthew Hayden and Damien Martyn and all-rounder Tony Dodemaide.

The team will be under the control of Australian coach Bobby Simpson.

The Board's chief executive officer, Graham Halbish, said last night: ''The ACB decided to send an official team to help promote the game in Hong Kong.

''The Hong Kong Cricket Association's objective has been to create a major cricket tournament to complement its cricket development programme and to raise the profile of cricket throughout the Southeast Asia region.'' And support it they have, with Victorian one-day specialist Dodemaide the only member of the six who was not in the touring party which won the recent six-Test Ashes series 4-1 .

Healy, who is tipped to take over from Allan Border as captain of the Test team next year, finished fourth in Australia's batting averages over the Ashes series, averaging 59.20 in seven innings.

Steve Waugh led the batting chart on 83.20, being dismissed only five times in his nine knocks, while twin brother Mark was third on 61.11, with one century and five half-centuries in his 10 innings.

Neither Hayden nor Martyn played in a Test but both showed their tremendous potential with the bat.

Mark Waugh stopped off in Hong Kong on his way back to Australia from England and, before leaving Kai Tak last night, said: ''I've never played six-a-side cricket before but I'm very excited about coming back for the tournament.

''Sixes is not very common in Australia but I still reckon we must be the number one seeds with this team.

''This game is all about batting because every bowler is going to get hit.'' When asked why he thought the Aussies had picked only six players rather than the seven permitted, Waugh quipped: ''So we'll all get more prizemoney.'' Australia were represented by an unofficial side last year and were beaten by Hong Kong and Pakistan on the opening day.

Commenting on this year's line-up, Cathay Pacific managing director Rod Eddington said: ''As an Australian I'm thrilled that the ACB have selected such a powerful side. Obviously they are taking this tournament very seriously.'' Of the eight invited Test-playing nations, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia have announced their full squads, while England have named five of their team. Organisers are hoping to confirm the Pakistan and West Indies squads withinthe next few days.

Tickets for the Sixes will go on sale on Thursday at Cathay Pacific ticketing offices in Swire House, Central, Pacific Place, Admiralty, Ocean Centre, Tsim Sha Tsui, and the Royal Garden Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui East and through the Star Ferry tour ticket offices in Central and Tsim Sha Tsui.

Tickets are priced at $400 for a two-day ticket. There are also a limited number of children's tickets (under 16 years) at $200 for two days.