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Published: Thursday, November 22, 2001, 18:34 [IST]
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[an error occurred while processing this directive]Sydney: Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh said on Wednesday he might play on past the 2003 World Cup and lead Australia on its 2004 tour to India. The 36-year-old Waugh had widely been expected to end his international career at the World Cup in South Africa in two years.

However, Waugh said he was keen to lead Australia to victory in India following its epic Test series defeat there in March.Twenty-year-old off spinner Harbhajan Singh, who picked up 32 wickets in the three-Test series, and VVS Laxman, with a stunning second Test 281, wrecked Australia's hopes of winning its first series in India for 32 years.

"I'm looking forward to the World Cup, that's probably the next major goal for the Australian cricket side," Waugh said. "Particularly myself, I'd love to go back to the World Cup and win a World Cup -- that's not to say I'm guaranteed selection from now until then.

But that's definitely a goal of mine and I guess way down the track, it's three odd years I think, is another tour to India and that may be a possibility. It's almost sort of unfinished business for the Australian cricket side, particularly after last season with such a great tour.

"We went so close and it's the one place where we haven't managed to win."Waugh was speaking at the announcement of a new three-year bat sponsorship deal with Indian tyre and sporting goods manufacturer MRF Limited.Waugh, who used a clean bat for the Ashes tour of England, joins Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar in the company stable.

No figures were released but the deal was rumoured to be worth around Australian dollars 300,000 ($ 150,000 US) a year.Waugh said he was looking forward to challenging Tendulkar for the ranking as number one batsman in the world. "He's the number 1 in the world at the moment, and rightly so, he's the best batsman that I've ever seen," said Waugh."But I'd like to also challenge him to the number 1 position in the future and score a few more runs."

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