Critics motivate me to play longer: Waugh

Published: Saturday, October 6, 2001, 0:02 [IST]
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Sydney: Australian Test captain Steve Waugh says criticism of his fitness would only motivate him to play top-level cricket longer.
Waugh's health has been in the spotlight in recent months since he missed the fourth Ashes Test against England with a torn calf muscle. Then followed news that Waugh was treating a subsequent bout of deep vein thrombosis, which will prevent him from starting the domestic season with New South Wales this weekend. Waugh, 36, also missed a home Test last summer with a strained buttock muscle. Renowned for his mental toughness, Waugh also displayed plenty of physical fortitude in the Ashes series when he recovered on time to play in the final Test and scored a marathon unbeaten 157, despite hobbling through much of his innings. "Everyone keeps writing me off with the body and how much longer I am going to last, but the truth of the matter is that while everyone keeps writing that, it makes me more determined to keep playing," Waugh said on Friday. "So if you want me to keep playing, keep writing me off because I enjoy that."

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