Sydney: Test captain Steve Waugh on Monday said he was still dedicated to forcing his way into Australia's World Cup squad on the eve of a 40-overs-a-side match against a full-strength Australian team here.
Waugh was left out of the preliminary 30-man squad for next February-March's World Cup in South Africa, but can still play his way into the final 15-man squad depending on performances. Waugh knows he needs to bowl to strengthen his case for inclusion as an all-rounder to the selection panel, headed by chairman Trevor Hohns.
"I'm certainly not putting myself through all this for a bit of fun," Waugh told a TV channel on Monday. "I believe I'm still good enough and that's the reason I'm still doing it. I'm like any other player - I've got to get out there and perform. I've said I'm available so that means I'm still a chance of selection," he said. "I'm not in the 30 at the moment but there are other very good players not in the 30 as well.
There's no point giving up - you never know what's around the corner." New South Wales (NSW) coach Steve Rixon revealed the rib complaint that prevented Waugh from bowling against England last Friday continued to be a concern. Asked if he would order a fit Waugh to bowl in the national cricketing interest, Rixon said, "No, I certainly wouldn't do that. He will do as he sees fit. I'm not going to tell him to bowl for his own gain and he wouldn't bowl just for that reason.
"If his ribs feel okay and the situation is there for him to have a bowl, I'd say there's a good chance you'll see him have a few overs. We'll have to see how he feels in the morning." Waugh's rib problem does not hinder his batting and he is certain to lead New South Wales against Australia in the warm-up match ahead of the triangular One-day series with England and Sri Lanka.