The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Steve Waugh hints strongly at retirement

Perth: Australian Test captain Steve Waugh Thursday gave the strongest hint yet that retirement from international ranks may be on the horizon.

Waugh, 38, made it clear the new season just starting in Australia may be his final summer of Test cricket at home.

Waugh has frequently spoken of victory in next year’s trip to India as a major goal before he quits.

Asked if that was still the case, Waugh replied: “I am not exactly sure when that is going to be, but there is a good chance this will be the last time I am going to play in Perth.”

Next week Waugh will lead his side in Perth in the first of two Tests against Zimbabwe.

India remains on Waugh’s “unfinished business” list after his side lost 1-2 there in a dramatic three-Test series in 2001.

Waugh has been in brilliant form since making a career-saving century against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the New Year Test, having scored four centuries in his past seven Tests.

He can continue his march into cricket history by scoring a hundred at the WACA Ground in the opening Test against Zimbabwe starting next Thursday.

The Perth ground is the only Test venue in Australia where he has not reached three figures.

The 162-Test veteran admitted he did not know much about the Zimbabweans, but expected the Africans to put up a spirited showing.

“I don’t know a lot of their players, I know they have a good coach in Geoff Marsh (former Australian Test batsman and national coach) and a good bowling coach in Bruce Reid (former Australian Test fast bowler) and I like the way they play their cricket,” the Australian captain said.

“They are always very spirited and give 100 per cent... and they have nothing to lose, so they will be a dangerous opponent.”

Steve had earlier warned the visitors of the WACA bounce. The WACA pitch is famous for forcing touring batsmen to duck and weave against the Australia pace attack led by Jason Gillespie, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath.

“Perth is a bouncy wicket. It’s unique in world cricket and there is always a chance somebody is going to get hurt over there,” Waugh was quoted as saying.

The Aussies have recalled Damien Martyn for the Test match against Zimbabwe in Perth.

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