It~~s hard for McGrath to get away from family

Published: Saturday, August 5, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Sydney:International cricket is easy compared to parenting, says Glenn McGrath but admits that it would not be that easy for him to make a smooth comeback after spending a good part of his five-month break ''making lunches for his kids and taking them to school''.

''It's going to be harder this time because I have spent so much time at home and with the kids. Making their lunches, taking them to school and putting them to bed, that will be the hardest part,'' McGrath told the 'Sydney Morning Herald.' here.

''That's what I'll miss the most. Being there every day with them, seeing them grow up, and having to go away again will be tough. I know they'll miss me, too. When I go away for a day they want me home,'' he added, admitting that the time spent with his family has had an impact on him.

The Australian bowling spearhead, who pulled out of the team to be with his wife Jane after she was re-diagnosed with cancer, however, said his better-half has been supportive throughout and has learnt to live with his schedules.

''With the way it's been - and it's been the last nine years with Jane - I don't know if there'll ever be a time when you feel it's 100 per cent all over and done. It's one of those things we've lived with. You do what you have to do and you make the most of the good times,'' he said, The veteran joked that parenting was so tough that he was looking forward to his international return as a break from the job.

''International cricket is easy compared to full-time parenting and I'm looking forward to getting back to playing so I can take a break from it all,'' he quipped.

The Aussie said he would continue playing as long as his family life went along smoothly and the desire to be in the thick of things remained in him. McGrath asserted that age would never be a factor when he decides his retirement.

''As long as things are going well at home, things are all right there, at the moment I'll keep playing. To watch the World Cup soccer it showed that the desire is still in there, burning away. I watched every game. It was amazing. You know if it is or it isn't there, and for me, I know it is. It's not about age, it's about desire,'' he elaborated.

The 36-year-old admitted that the time away from his family will be tough to bear from now on as the five months spent with each other had made the McGraths a stronger unit.

''We're a lot closer now,'' he said.

Speaking about the Ashes challenge that await him on his return, McGrath said he was disappointed with the way England have performed after winning the famous urn last season and felt despite the loss the Aussies were the better team by many a miles.

''I wouldn't have thought (last year's Ashes) should haunt the team, to be honest. We walked away from that series a better team.

If you look at the bigger picture, what the series did for cricket in England and around the world was phenomenal,'' he said.

The Aussie said his team's loss made cricket more competitive and increased the number of spectators of the game.

''If we had won that second Test and won the series, I think cricket would be in worse shape. To see that level of intensity, almost One-day mode throughout, the standard was incredible. Even people who had never watched the game before were into every minute of it,'' he added.

McGrath, who would be competing for a place with young Stuart Clark joked that though he would be working hard to get back his place but would also invite his team mates and selectors for a dinner to improve his chances.

''It's up to the selectors (but) once you get out to the middle, it's up to the captain. I think I'll have to start taking the captain out for a few more lunches and inviting him around for dinner more often,'' he joked.

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