Mark Waugh shocked over decision to drop Bevan, says age is irrelevant

Published: Thursday, April 8, 2004, 23:35 [IST]
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Sydney:Mark Waugh says dumped Australian One-day star Michael Bevan should still have a future in international cricket.

Waugh on Thursday expressed surprise at Bevan's sacking, insisting age was irrelevant and performance must always be the main priority.

Waugh, who retired from first-class cricket last month, was a long time state and national team-mate of Bevan.

The prolific left-hander's illustrious 10-year international career this week was all but finished when his Cricket Australia contract was not renewed.

Waugh, when asked if he thought 33-year-old Bevan's time in the Australian One-day side was up, said: "I still thought he had plenty of cricket ahead.

"He (Bevan) has been a great player for Australia and I still think he's got a lot to offer Australian cricket, so it was a bit of a shock actually.

"He's not the first person to get dropped and he won't be the last one, but I think hopefully he will play for NSW.

"But he's done a great job for Australia in One-day cricket and I think in Test cricket he was a bit unlucky, I think he should have played a lot more Test cricket."

While acknowledging Bevan's massive contribution, chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said this week his panel was looking to the future and trying to form a core group of players for the next World Cup.

Waugh, who played international cricket till he was 37, said there always seemed to be pressure to promote young players.

"I think age is irrelevant, it's performance, it doesn't matter if you are 12 or 45, if you are good enough you play," Waugh said.

"But I suppose you don't want everybody the same age in the team, you need a bit of a mixture, but performance is what counts."

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