Barrackpore (India):Gritty Australian cricketer Steve Waugh stressed on Tuesday that he was not thinking of quitting the game despite failing to find a place in his country's One-day squad.
"I'm not thinking of retiring from cricket," said Waugh, dropped from the national One-day side early this year. He has so far scored 9,600 runs in 148 Tests and 7,569 in 325 One-dayers. "I'm determined to get back into the One-day squad and play for my country in next year's World Cup (in South Africa)," the Australian told reporters after arriving here to do charity work for a children's leprosy home. "Charity gives me a lot of pleasure as it fuels my energy to play more cricket. I can't ignore the children of the home, as I can't ignore cricket which has given me a lot," said Waugh, accorded a warm welcome on his arrival. The children of the Udayan home garlanded the Australian, putting red vermilion on the forehead and touching his feet with rose powder, as per Indian traditions. "Welcome brother Steve! We're waiting for you," shouted more than 250 boys and girls standing bare-footed under the blazing midday sun in this town about 40 kilometres (25 miles) North of Calcutta. Overwhelmed by the welcome, Waugh said, "I've come to see you, to help you. I've been looking for suitable land for the home in Calcutta and its outskirts throughout the day. I hope I'll find it soon." Waugh, who has been supporting Udayan for four years, wants to build a separate home for the girls. He also presented his bats to the home officials. "This is a small gift to the children of the home whom I earnestly want to see successful in their lives," Waugh said. It was indeed a day to remember for the children. "Our teachers allow us to watch TV only when Steve Waugh plays. His style of batting ignites our passion to do something in life," said a student. The home was set up in 1970 and now accommodates 231 boys and 51 girls.
Udayan kids offer prayers for Waugh's ODI inclusion