Waugh to decide future after Ashes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Waugh to decide future after Ashes

24/12/2002 04:37:57 PM Comments (0)

Steve Waugh wants the focus during the Boxing Day Test to be on the cricket, not him. And he wants people to stop calling Brett Lee a chucker.

The 37-year-old Australian captain said he would decide on his future after the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney, starting January 2.

Until then, he would like the speculation to stop, please.

Fat chance. It's more likely to be snowing when play begins at the MCG on Thursday.

"The next two Test matches are about an Australian side playing an Ashes series, they're not about me personally and what I'm going to do," Waugh said.

"I'd like to think the focus will be on the cricket rather than speculation about myself."

Waugh can wish all he likes.

He's one of the greats of Australian sport and widespread talk about his possible retirement or sacking - or the continuation of his career - will continue until there's a definitive answer.

"Little bits of information come out here and there," he said.

"There's been a lot of misinformation over the last six weeks which has been difficult to read about because there are a lot of lies out there and mis-truths.

"There's a lot of people out there making assumptions and pretending as if they know me personally when a lot of people writing stuff don't know what's going on.

"The next two Tests are about Australia versus England, an Ashes series, they're not about me personally and how I'm going to go and how long I'm going to go on for.

"I'll make a decision after the Sydney Test match.

"I know I'm still one of the best eleven players."

Meanwhile, Waugh says Lee doesn't deserve to carry the tag of chucker.

Slow motion replays of Lee's action during coverage of the Australia-Sri Lanka limited overs match on Sunday night led to a new round of questions about whether he illegally straightens his arm before delivery.

Lee produced the fastest ball clocked by Channel Nine cameras in Australia - 156.2km/h - then afterwards defended his action, which has been queried and cleared by the ICC.

Waugh doesn't have a problem with Lee.

"I don't think anyone in a position of responsibility in regards to the game has made comment on it," he said.

"It's been speculation by people watching the game - a lot of people have opinions out there.

"There hasn't been a problem with the umpires or the match referees or anyone that really counts. As far as I'm concerned it's not an issue because it hasn't been brought up by the relevant people.

"He doesn't like reading stories about that - he's only human, he's not going to enjoy that sort of publicity.

"It's a stigma he's got to carry around and I don't think he deserves it."

Waugh added with a grin: "It's good, it's gotten me off the back page."

Asked about the very real prospect of South Africa jumping past Australia on top of the ICC Test rankings if it beats Pakistan at home over the next two weeks, Waugh said: "Everyone knows who the No.1 side is."

Queenslander Martin Love flew to Melbourne this afternoon to be on standby for Darren Lehmann, admitted to hospital with an infection in his right leg.

A decision on Lehmann's availability will be forthcoming on Wednesday. Love is on the verge of a Test debut.

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