Waugh looks to bowl over selectors - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waugh looks to bowl over selectors

By Will Swanton and Brent Read 10/12/2002 06:16:32 AM Comments (0)

It's the bowling spell he has to have.

Test captain Steve Waugh has re-affirmed his dedication to forcing his way into the World Cup squad ahead of a crucial 40-overs-a-side match against Ricky Ponting's full-strength Australia at North Sydney Oval.

Outrage at Waugh's omission from the preliminary 30-man squad is now being drowned out by calls for his inclusion among the final 15 players who go to Africa in February.

Waugh knows he needs to bowl - and he needs to bowl on Tuesday - to strengthen his case for inclusion as an allrounder to the selection panel of Trevor Hohns, Allan Border, David Boon and Andrew Hilditch.

"I'm certainly not putting myself through all this for a bit of fun," Waugh told Channel Ten.

"I believe I'm still good enough and that's the reason I'm still doing it.

"I'm like any other player - I've got to get out there and perform. I've said I'm available so that means I'm still a chance of selection.

"I'm not in the 30 at the moment but there are other very good players not in the 30 as well.

"There's no point giving up - you never know what's around the corner."

However, as his supporters wait with bated breath for him to mark his run-up, NSW coach Steve Rixon revealed the rib complaint that prevented Waugh from bowling last Friday night against England continued to be a concern.

He might not bowl a single delivery.

Asked if he would order a fit Waugh to bowl in the national cricketing interest, Rixon said: "No, I certainly wouldn't do that. He will do as he sees fit. I'm not going to tell him to bowl for his own gain and he wouldn't bowl just for that reason.

"If his ribs feel okay and the situation is there for him to have a bowl, I'd say there's a good chance you'll see him have a few overs. We'll have to see how he feels in the morning."

Waugh's rib problem does not hinder his batting and he is certain to lead the Blues.

Mark Waugh, who opened the batting with Adam Gilchrist during Australia's successful World Cup campaign in 1999 when Steve was captain, suggested his brother should hurry up and bowl a few more overs.

"I think everybody is wrapped up a bit in Steve not getting in the 30-man squad and what he's going to do with his Test career," said Mark, who has recovered from a groin strain to lead a Prime Minister's XI against England in Canberra.

"There's a lot of media focus on it and I'm sure he's getting sick of it as are most people, really.

"He hasn't bowled a lot lately. It's probably just been because of his body and injuries.

"I know he's quite keen to bowl a bit more and I suppose if he wants to play in the World Cup he's got to bowl a few more overs."

The England camp is saying as little as possible about Waugh and the World Cup. What they would give to have him.

Opener Marcus Trescothick, who faced Waugh during the first Ashes Test, said of Waugh's bowling: "I didn't really know he was as fast as he was. He mixed it up a bit but what's going on with their side is their business."

All players in the NSW and Australian squads will take part in the game, with 11 to bat. Bowlers will have a maximum of eight overs. Play will begin at 11am.

NSW: Steve Waugh (c), Corey Richards, Matthew Phelps, Michael Clarke, Michael Slater, Phil Jaques, Nathan Pilon, Shawn Bradstreet, Dominic Thornely, Stuart MacGill, Nathan Bracken, Doug Bollinger, Aaron Bird.

AUSTRALIA: Ricky Ponting (c), Adam Gilchrist, Michael Bevan, Andrew Bichel, Jason Gillespie, Matthew Hayden, Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann, Damien Martyn, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Shane Watson.

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