Steve may call it quits after next Ashes series

Published: Monday, March 25, 2002, 17:42 [IST]
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Sydney: Australian Test cricket captain Steve Waugh hinted on Sunday he may be ready to call it a day after the fifth Ashes Test against England in January on his home patch at the Sydney Cricket Ground. The 36-year-old, who expects to be named next week to lead the Australian Test team to tour Zimbabwe in April, admitted he feared his days in the Australian team were drawing to a close. "I don't want to go out when we're losing or I get the tap on the shoulder to say enough is enough. I'd like to have learned from the experience of the last couple of weeks and retire on my terms," Waugh told a TV channel. "I think that's much better than going out in a negative way. For me, it would be nice going out in a positive way." And he agreed that a fifth Ashes Test would be a perfect way to say goodbye. "I'm not sure when it's going to happen but at the moment I still feel I'm playing really good cricket and can improve and that's what I've always said; I'll continue to play as long as I improve." Waugh, 36, has given way to Ricky Ponting in the One-day side, which is now touring South Africa. But he thought the selectors had made a mistake. "When it happened, yeah, I thought they got it wrong but life goes on and they've got to make these tough calls. I still want to be there and realistically the chances probably aren't that great. I'll live with that. That's fine," he said. "I'm positive I can (still play at international One-day level.) But that's not to say there's not someone who can't play it better than I'm playing it at the moment. That's the call the selectors made and only time will tell." Waugh is desperate to get back into the One-day side to defend the World Cup in South Africa next year. In 37 Tests as captain, Waugh has led Australia to 26 wins and the undisputed status as the world's best team. The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) also refuted reports in the British Press last week that they had already told Waugh he was no longer wanted. "As a guy who always gave his best and loved playing for Australia and saw it as a privilege to play for Australia," Waugh said when asked how he wanted to be remembered. Waugh said fatherhood was becoming increasingly important. "There are other things in life, other challenges, other things that lay ahead," he said. "I want to be a good father and that's really important to me.

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