Thatscricket - News - 'We were lucky to have the other'

Published: Monday, March 1, 2004, 19:13 [IST]
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Sydney:Twins Steve and Mark Waugh, fiercely-competitive from their backyard cricket days of their youth, play what could be their last first-class match this weekend, separated by just a fraction in batting averages.

After scoring more than 50,000 first-class runs between them over 20 years, Steve, older by four minutes, is shading brother Mark in career batting averages, 52.01 to 51.98.

"So we're three-hundredths of a run apart," Steve said ahead of New South Wales (NSW)' final regular match of the Sheffield Shield season against Queensland starting in Sydney on Thursday.

"I remember (former NSW and Australian teammate) Mike Whitney saying that at the end of our careers we would be pretty equal in stats."

"What do I need to get level?" interjected Mark. "Or maybe I can finish .01 in front." "There might be a run-out in this game," Steve shot back.

The competitiveness of their formative years in Sydney's western suburbs featured prominently in the twins' final pre-match press conference. Both acknowledged they were lucky to have the other.

"We had ready-made opponents every time we walked out into the backyard," said Mark.

"In your teenage years you don't want to let your brother outdo you." Steve added, "We spurred each other to the best we possibly could."

NSW and Queensland both must win outright this week to make the Shield final against Victoria at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and hope that Tasmania goes pointless against Victoria.

NSW will be boosted by the return of Test spearhead Glenn McGrath after ankle surgery as well as members from the Australian One-day team in Sri Lanka -- Michael Bevan, Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin.

McGrath named in NSW squad

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