Sources close to Australian cricket selectors have told The (un)Australian that Bridget Abbott, the 21-year-old daughter of the prime minister, was front-runner to replace captain Michael Clarke should he not recover from his back injury in time for the Second Test against India at the Gabba starting on December 17.
The source insisted the decision was entirely unrelated to a recent federal government proposal to spend $100 million dollars cut from Indigenous health programs to buy each Cricket Australia selector their own personal helicopter.
Given recent controversies over a scholarship awarded to Frances Abbott and a plum diplomatic post won by Louise Abbott, the source admitted some might view such a selection as controversial, but said: “I can guarantee you this decision will be made purely on merit alone.”
“Bridget is working hard in the nets and has impressed selectors with her footwork, which is crucial when playing the Indians. The simple fact is the selectors are looking very hard at all available options, but it seems clear that Bridget is simply the best Abbott daughter available for selection.”
The source refused to comment on speculation the prime minister himself could replace Shane Watson at number three if the all-rounder failed again with the bat, saying selectors were backing Watson to make a big score in the second innings of the Adelaide Test, and there were serious questions over Mr Abbott’s ability to play spin.