Ashes 2019: Steve Waugh set to mentor Australia

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Steve Waugh, the legendary Australian cricketer, is all set to mentor the national team in the upcoming away Ashes. The high-voltage series against England is scheduled to get underway on August 1 with the opening Test at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. The 54-year-old Waugh’s appointment 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 after taking over the role from Steve Smith following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

We are very fortunate to have Steve Waugh

Paine stated 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.

The Australian team is currently busy plying its trade in the 2019 edition of the World Cup. Aaron Finch’s men are already through to the semis and became the first team to reach there. Placed on top of the points table, Australia’s last league stage match is versus South Africa at Old Trafford in Manchester.

Even when the year started, the Aussies were encircled by darkness and the team was finding it tough to even compete. However, from the ODI series versus India that they won 3-2, they have started punching above their weights. Australia is the defending champion and the unit has played like one.