Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Gilbert rejects Waughs comment on counties
Published: Thursday, August 30, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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London: Former Australia cricketer and Sussex chief executive David Gilbert on Thursday rejected Australia captain Steve Waughs comment that his sides games against English counties were a waste of time.[an error occurred while processing this directive]"I think he's wide of the mark," said Gilbert who in October will become chief executive of Waugh's state side, New South Wales. "Steve's a good friend of mine but I think, on this occasion, he's got it badly wrong," the former pace bowler told BBC Radio Five Live.Gilbert also dismissed Waugh's complaint that tours were too long. "I think this particular Ashes tour was probably the shortest on record. I remember touring here in 1985 - we arrived late April and didn't leave until early September," said Gilbert."In this one, in fact, the Australia team got here at the end of May and it is already back home before September's come in, so it's actually one of the shortest."Gilbert said Waugh's comments had to be looked at in the light of his family responsibilities. "The issue here is Steve Waugh's 36 - he's obviously missed his family, he's got two kids with another one on the way and, unfortunately, cricket and family are usually in some conflict," added Gilbert."At the end of the day no-one puts a gun to your head and says you will play for your country. It's your decision and you go with the rules."Gilbert said Waugh's 'waste of time' remark about county matches was way off target. "I find that statement particularly disappointing," he said. "Once upon a time Steve Waugh was a young player who wanted to play for his state, New South Wales, against a touring team and he would have been absolutely gutted, I'm sure, had he been deprived of that opportunity if England, or South Africa or anyone at that time had said 'we find playing against Australian states a waste of time'."Sussex lost its game against Australia after rain forced them into contriving a declaration to ensure the game had a result. But Gilbert stressed that Sussex gained benefit from the fixture."Here at Sussex we took the game very seriously indeed, to the extent that our opening batsmen put on over 200 against them for the first wicket," he said."So I don't think we were a waste of time."