Waugh and piece of the Ashes action
TEST cricket great Mark Waugh is going in to bat for the Aussies in the Ashes. But he’s relieved he will be doing it from the commentary box.
Waugh toured Britain during the 2001 Ashes series, the year before he retired from international cricket.
He was too busy settling in to married life to go over for the English summer in 2005, having wed Sydney Cup-winning thoroughbred trainer Kim Moore. This year, he’ll be commentating for Fox Sports.
‘‘Probably glad I wasn’t there in ’05 seeing as we lost,’’ Waugh says with a grin.
‘‘It wouldn’t have been too good sitting among the English spectators while we were getting beaten.’’
Waugh believes Australia has the ability to hang on to the Ashes.
‘‘We have a pretty good pace bowling attack and beating South Africa in South Africa was good form to take into the Ashes,’’ he says.
‘‘If we play that well in England we should sneak home, yeah.’’
The English squad contains four or five players who could change the momentum of the Tests, Waugh says. He cites captain Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Flintoff as the performers to watch.
‘‘Then there’s someone like James Anderson, who’s bowling very well,’’ he says.
‘‘They have a dangerous side, particularly if Pietersen and Flintoff are fit and firing.’’
The Australian Ashes squad ‘‘sort of picks itself’’, he says.
‘‘It’s just going to be interesting to see who they select as the fast bowlers.
‘‘They have a lot of depth and a couple of experienced players with good records coming back from injury. Whether they will force out the guys who did well in South Africa — well, it’s a juggling act by the selectors.’’
Waugh will work alongside fellow former Australian Test cricketers Allan Border, Brendon Julian, Greg Blewett and Damien Fleming on the Ashes series, starting July 8. The 2009 Ashes series Fox Sports, Wednesday, 7.30pm First Test, Cardiff Duration: 7 hours
On a winner: former Aussie Test batsman Mark Waugh.