| STEVE: Hopes burn, still
Sydney: Test captain Steve Waugh still hopes to be recalled to the Australian one-day team for next year’s World Cup in South Africa despite having less than a month to force his way back.
Waugh was dumped as one-day captain in February then left out of a preliminary 30-man World Cup squad announced by selectors, but insists he is good enough to make the team.
“I’m not in the 30 (probables) at the moment but there are other very good players not in the 30 as well,” Waugh told Australian television Monday.
“There’s no point giving up — you never know what’s around the corner.”
With the final 15-man squad due to be named on December 31, Waugh’s last real chance to press his claims for selection will come on Tuesday when he captains New South Wales n a 40-overs-a-side practice match against Australia in Sydney.
The 37-year-old, who led Australia to victory in the 1999 World Cup, has been training harder than ever and has even started bowling again in a desperate bid to change the selectors’ minds.
“I’m certainly not putting myself through all this for a bit of fun,” he said.
“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’ve still a chance of selec- tion.”
Waugh’s twin Mark, who announced his retirement from international cricket after being overlooked for last month’s first Ashes Test, said his brother’s best chances of a reprieve was to reinvent himself as an all-rounder by bowling well.
Waugh was a handy medium-pacer in his younger days, capturing 89 Test wickets, before injuries forced to him to restrict himself to batting.
“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,” said Mark, who will lead the Australian prime Minister’s XI in a limited-overs match against England in Canberra Tuesday.