Steve Waugh, the legendary Australian cricketer, is all set to mentor the national team in the upcoming Ashes, that is to be played in England. The most awaited series against England is scheduled to start from August 1 with the opening Test at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. The appointment of Steve Waugh has also boosted Australia’s hopes of winning the Ashes on English soil for the first time in 18 years.
Tim Paine, the current Australian Test captain, put forth the news. Waugh was the skipper of the Aussies when the team won the Ashes in England last time way back in 2001. Paine has had a tough time leading the Australian side when he got the captaincy robes after the ball tampering incident that happened against South Africa last year. Paine has miserably failed to perform at the individual level, but the return of Steve Smith and David Warner might just change the whole equation.
Paine said that he along with the head coach, Justin Langer, has been trying to rope-in some legendary players. Currently, Ricky Ponting, another Aussie great, is assisting Langer in the ongoing World Cup.
“I know it is something that ‘JL’ and myself have been quite big on, that is to try and get some of our past legends in and around the team,” Paine was quoted as saying in the website of Cricket Australia on Wednesday. “During the World Cup as well, we have had Ricky (Ponting), and now with the Test series, we are very fortunate to have Steve Waugh who is, obviously, a legend and is going to be great service for me as a leader and captain. I think to have someone like him around during a Test series is going to be great for our whole group,” he added.
Waugh has truckloads of experience at the highest level, having played 168 Tests in which he notched 10,927 runs at an average of 51.06. In a Test career, which spanned 19 years, Waugh racked up 32 tons and 50 half-centuries. He retired after the Sydney Test against India back in 2004.