The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘It’s their problem, they must solve it’
- Zimbabwe crisis worries Steve Waugh

Calcutta: Terming the Zimbabwe crisis a major issue in the world of cricket, former Australia skipper Steve Waugh on Tuesday said it is grossly unfair to pick the squad on the basis of race.

“It is wrong to pick a squad on the basis of colour. If they are doing so, it means there must be something wrong in the system,” he said. “I am glad that the ICC has cancelled the Zimbabwe-Australia Test series,” he said.

However, Waugh feels the problem clouding Zimbabwe cricket needs an immediate solution, which can only be unearthed by them and not by anyone else.

Shifting focus from the Zimbabwe crisis, the Australian legend was all praise for Sri Lankan off-spinner Muttiah Muralidharan and his skills. According to him, Murali is a “once in a lifetime bowler” who spins the ball more than anyone else.

Speaking highly of Test cricket’s highest wicket-taker, Waugh refused to comment on the ICC’s decision to ban his doosra. “It is up to the ICC to decide what is right and what is wrong,” he said.

Describing Murali’s record-breaking effort as a fantastic achievement, Waugh added that cricket needs Murali because he brings the crowd to the grounds.

On the retirement of former England captain Nasser Hussain, Waugh felt it was a “perfect retirement”.

“It is exactly good on his part that he scored a ton at Lord’s against New Zealand, which came at a time when many were saying that he was struggling to retain his place in the side. The moment became more special as England won the Test in style.”

Waugh felt the upcoming tour of India will not be an easy one for Australians. “This will be a close fight between two closely-placed teams. Ricky Ponting and his boys are really keen to win the series and that’s why they are preparing well.”

According to Waugh, the Australians played excellent cricket in Sri Lanka under difficult conditions and there is no reason why they cannot do well in India.

“Indians are also emerging as a world force as they have played superb cricket over the last 12 months,” he stated.

Last but not the least, Waugh is not in favour of a two-tier system in the longer version of the game. “Since so few countries play Tests, they will end up playing each other over and over again, which will make it boring.

“But it goes well with the shorter version of the game,” Waugh said.

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