The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We don’t want cricket to be Americanised: Steve

Georgetown: Australia captain Steve Waugh, whose team crushed the West Indies by nine wickets in the first Test Sunday, refused to criticise the standard of umpiring in the match and said he did not want the sport to be Americanised.

The match was punctuated by a series of controversial decisions, with Sri Lanka’s Asoka de Silva bearing the brunt of the blame.

Waugh, celebrating his world record 157th Test appearance, said that uncertainty was part of the beauty of cricket. “You don’t want to end up with robots out there,” said Waugh.

“We don’t want the sport to be Americanised. We want to have controversy and we want to have something to talk about. That’s why cricket is unique. I don’t want to be too critical of the umpires, we all make mistakes.”

Waugh said he was not worried about trying to stop West Indies captain Brian Lara, who made 110 in the second innings before being dismissed hit-wicket.

“We were lucky to get that break but we made the most of that luck and that’s what great sides do. I’d be happy if Brian made 100 every match, and we won by nine wickets. It’s a team effort and we don’t focus on one individual,” Waugh said.

Lara did his best to look on the bright side after the drubbing.

The Trinidadian, who was reinstated as captain one week before the start of the Test, said he was encouraged by the centuries from Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Daren Ganga.

Lara added he was pleased to note that his team showed good fighting spirit by forcing Australia to bat a second time after trailing by 252 runs.

He also had a word of praise for the bowlers. “I think the bowlers did very well on the second day and there was a very good effort from everyone on the third. I’m very proud of the guys.

“I think we are going to go to Trinidad looking to do much better.” The second Test starts in Trinidad Saturday.

Lara, who did not take part in the post-match media conference, admitted that Carl Hooper’s decision to pull out of the team had left his side short of a spinner.

“One of the reasons Carl was included was as a spinner,” he said. “I’m sure the selectors will put their heads together and find the best solution for the second Test.”

New West Indies coach Gus Logie was optimistic. “Definitely we’re disappointed but I don’t think it will be such a big setback for the players. They all recognise the areas in which they fell down.

“There has been a lot of (dissent) in and around the camp,” he added. “But we are trying to make sure that is eliminated as much as possible so the players can go out there and play.”

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