Michael Di Venuto to play for Italy

Former Australian batsman Michael Di will play for Italy in March’s World Twenty20 qualifying tournament in Dubai.

Di Venuto will join Geraint Jones (Papua New Guinea) as a former full member international playing for an Associate side at the World Twenty20 Qualifier.

Di Venuto represented Australia in nine one-day internationals, all of them in 1997. He averaged almost 30 but was dumped from the side and with Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh at the top of their game, he never got to add to those nine appearances.

He played state cricket career with Tasmania, winning the Sheffield Shield in 2006/7, and a county career with Sussex, Derbyshire and, more recently, Durham.

He has played 46 Twenty20 matches in all, mostly in England, scoring 951 runs at an average of 23.77 with a top score of 95 not out.

Michael’s older brother Peter played for Italy at the European Championships in 2000 and 2002.

“There is a deep and long-standing relationship between the Federazione and the Di Venuto family,” ICF president Simone Gambino said.

“Peter, Michael’s older brother, played for Italy in 2000 and 2002 at European Championships.

“He also ran the Italian cricket academy in Hobart from 2002 to 2004 and later in Melbourne when he moved there to coach Carlton.

“Consequently, we were always in touch with Michael and now that there is a chance to play for Italy that does not conflict with his professional commitments, we are delighted to have him with us … only an injury can prevent Michael being in the final squad.”

Di Venuto works as an assistant coach with Cricket Tasmania and is still playing grade cricket with North Hobart.

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