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It’s been a privilege to play with Mark: Steve

Sydney: Australian captain Steve Waugh led the tributes to his twin brother Mark who announced his retirement from international cricket on Monday.

Steve, who played 108 Tests alongside him, said he would miss his brother’s presence when he leads Australia on the field for next month’s first Ashes Test against England.

“It has been a pleasure and a privilege to have played alongside my brother at Test level for the past 12 years, spanning more than 100 matches together, and it will seem very strange not to have him with us when we walk out in Brisbane,” the Australian captain said.

Mark and Steve had both been dropped from the one-day squad and there was a question mark over their selection for the Ashes series. Steve, however, made his case strong with a hundred against Pakistan in the final Test of a three-match series after failing to do much in the first two games.

“Mark has been an inspiration not only to his teammates but also to a host of young players because of the way he has played the game — hard but fair and in a positive way.

“His record is outstanding and if he decides to continue at domestic level, I am sure he can have a positive effect through passing on the knowledge and experience he has gained.”

Darren Lehmann, who replaced Mark in the squad, said: “I’ll probably never work out selectors, I don’t work out ours at the Redbacks (South Australia) either. When a bloke plays 12 years and serves a country so well, you think he probably gets given another opportunity. It was not the case this time and now it’s a chance for me.”

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