Mark Waugh set to join Channel Nine commentary team

Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2002, 22:14 [IST]
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Sydney: Mark Waugh, who spoke of his dislike of the media when announcing his retirement this week from international cricket, is set to follow a well-worn path into Channel Nine's cricket commentary team.

Nine director of Sport Gary Burns said discussions with Waugh's management begin on Thursday about him joining old teammates Mark Taylor and Ian Healy behind the microphone. "But I'm not sure he's a certainty this summer for the central commentary position," Burns said on Wednesday. "He's going to play first-class cricket for New South Wales (NSW) this season and that goes on at the same time as the international season. "He commentated in the mid-winter season - the One-dayers against Pakistan - and went pretty well I thought." But Burns baulked at the idea that the network was keen to secure Waugh. "Not that keen, we are full - fuller than a fat lady's sock really," Burns said. "Nobody's going to join the commentary team while they are still playing, so he's going to have at least another season. "But we're hoping we can work out a way we can see him guest commentating on appropriate matches. And don't forget the World Cup (in South Africa next year) for instance, we will have a major hosting and downstream operation back here in Sydney while that's all going on and I hope to see him involved in that." Waugh, a permanent fixture in Australia's line-up for nearly a decade, dropped out of international cricket on Monday hours after being axed for next week's opening Ashes Test against England. The 37-year-old batsman, whose 128 Tests placed him fifth on the all-time list of appearances in world cricket, said he knew his international career was over but would continue to play for New South Wales (NSW). Waugh said he did not enjoy the latter months of his career amid building media pressure about his lack of high scores in Tests. "I have handled pressure pretty well through my career but you can only take so much," he said. "The last six months or so, whenever I pick up the papers my name is mentioned and every time I go out to bat whatever I do there will be close scrutiny."

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