Steve Waugh says cricketers in sub-continent get 'bit more leeway' with retirement

Waugh was asked the question in context of the debate surrounding Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future in international cricket after India's semi-final exit from the World Cup.

FirstCricket Staff, Jul 12, 2019 23:08:30 IST

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh believes that his country has the best phasing out policy for the biggest names unlike the sub-continent where it becomes difficult to move on once players attain legendary status.

Waugh was asked the question in context of the debate surrounding Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future in international cricket after India's semi-final exit from the World Cup.

Steve Waugh says cricketers in sub-continent get bit more leeway with retirement

File image of former Australia captain Steve Waugh. AFP

"It's interesting. Australia definitely do that. It doesn't matter who you are because you have got to move on," Waugh told PTI when asked about Cricket Australia's retirement policy and his own exit from international scene in early 2004.

But Waugh, one of Australia's most successful skippers, feels that it wont be correct to equate Australia's situation with India.

"May be in the sub-continent you get a bit more leeway with 1.4 billion people following you. People no longer remain people. They become legends, Gods. It's very hard to move on," he said.

"It becomes increasingly challenging when people get to a certain age. MS Dhoni you are referring to is still a great player," said Waugh.

The World Cup winning former captain is, however, happy with Australia's overall performance considering where they were 12 months back.

"I think it's a fair comment that Australia have done well in the World Cup compared to where they were 12 months ago," he said on his country's defeat against England at Edgbaston on Thursday.

"Once they got to the semi-finals, there were high expectations. They might be disappointed this morning but overall I think Aaron Finch did great job as captain as well as a player," Waugh, who is a brand ambassador of ICC's community cricket tournament called Criiio.

Talking about the initiative, he said, "I think it's a great initiative and it is what sport is all about. It's about sports at grassroot level and people enjoying it. Learning about sportsman spirit."

Asked to whom he would put his money in Sunday's final between England and New Zealand at the Lord's, he replied: "I don't put money on sport. I expect a great final as New Zealand has been playing well. They have now reached two finals. So I expect a good match.

England on verge of World Cup greatness

Steve Waugh says England could go down as one of the greatest teams in one-day cricket history if they beat New Zealand to clinch their first World Cup on Sunday.

Eoin Morgan's side are firm favourites to win the Lord's showpiece after thumping Australia by eight wickets in Birmingham on Thursday to reach their first final in 27 years.

"It's one of the best one-day teams I've seen and would compete against anyone from previous eras but ultimately they will be judged on Sunday," said Waugh, who won two World Cups with Australia.

"If they win that they may go down as one of the great one-day sides. If they lose then I guess they're just back to being one of the other teams that didn't quite make it. They have the potential to be a great one-day team."

Victory for the top-ranked ODI side would mark the end of a remarkable journey from the pain of an early exit at the 2015 World Cup to the ultimate prize in the game.

Former Australia captain Waugh picked out Jason Roy and Jofra Archer as two of the key men for the host nation but said they had "11 potential match-winners".

"They play without fear. I think that's very hard to do in professional sport and there's no weakness in the side," he said.

"They are a very good fielding side, they bat all the way down, numerous bowling options It's a pretty complete side."

Waugh said it was not easy to pick out a key man for England.

England X factor

"Jason Roy is the form player of the tournament right now and looks in incredible form," he added.

"I think Archer has given England that X factor so those two guys are form payers but I wouldn't be surprised if Ben Stokes steps up to the plate in the final and produces something special."

Neither England nor New Zealand have ever won the World Cup and Waugh said it would be good for the game to have a new name on the trophy.

"I think it would be really important for someone like New Zealand," he said.

"It's a great rugby country, it's probably the greatest sporting team in the world, the All Blacks. Cricket is always hard for them to get a bit of a foothold so to make the final and potentially win would be game-changing for New Zealand.

"England have been in three World Cup finals. The country is very passionate about cricket. If either side wins it's going to be great for their country. I know what it's like to win a World Cup. It's exciting and the people get behind it and feel they're a part of it so it's a great celebration."

Waugh will be staying in England after the World Cup to mentor the Australia side during the Ashes and he said he could offer experience from the high points and low points of his career as they seek to win a Test series in England for the first time since 2001.

Waugh, an International Cricket Council World Cup ambassador, was speaking at an event in Trafalgar Square, central London, to promote the Criiio Cup.

The ICC event was aimed celebrating the diversity of cricket and brought together social teams from Brazil, Rwanda, Germany, England, Indonesia and India.

"The fundamental aim of Criiio is that it's a celebration of street cricket," said Waugh. "That's how everyone starts playing cricket. That's how I started playing my cricket back in Australia."

With inputs from PTI and AFP

Updated Date: Jul 12, 2019 23:08:30 IST

World Cup 2019 Points Table

Team p w l nr pts
India 9 7 1 1 15
Australia 9 7 2 0 14
England 9 6 3 0 12
New Zealand 9 5 3 1 11
Pakistan 9 5 3 1 11
Sri Lanka 9 3 4 2 8
South Africa 9 3 5 1 7
Bangladesh 9 3 5 1 7
West Indies 9 2 6 1 5
Afghanistan 9 0 9 0 0

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
6 Sri Lanka 3462 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6420 123
2 India 6807 122
3 New Zealand 4763 113
4 Australia 5470 112
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 4756 97
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
6 New Zealand 4056 254