The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Steve to ponder future

Sydney: Steve Waugh said on Tuesday there was no point continuing his glorious career just to satisfy fulfilling statistics.

The 37-year-old Australian Test skipper said after Monday’s final Ashes Test he would reflect on his position over the coming weeks.

Waugh can retire on his own terms after a magnificent 102 in the first innings which buried suggestions that he was not worth his place.

“There’s no point in just going on for the sake of it and playing just for the numbers or the stats or whatever. The only one who can make the decision is myself and I’ve got to consult with the people around me, particularly my family, and work out what the best decision is.

“I’ve got to see whether there’s still a challenge out there, that’s the reason why I play cricket, whether I can still improve and whether there’s a point to it.”

He had indicated previously that he wanted to return to play in India in 2004 and try to win Australia’s first series there in more than 30 years.

But so perfect was his innings, where he scored a four off the last ball of the day to raise his century, that there is a compelling case for Waugh now to be considering stepping down from the game.

“I’ve been doing it for 18 years now so I’ve just got to weigh up all those issues and try and make the right decision but I still love playing for Australia. Losing three wickets for 50 the other day in a tough situation, I realised that I still wanted to play cricket.”

Meanwhile, Waugh has withdrawn from the Don Bradman XI to play England in Wednesday’s one-day match because of a groin strain. “It is a minor strain but it was felt prudent for him to miss the match to avoid increasing the severity,” Australian team physiotherapist Errol Alcott said.

His twin brother Mark, who retired when he was dropped for the first Ashes Test, will captain the side. A statement from the Australian Cricket Board said Waugh had sustained the right groin strain while bowling in the final Test.

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