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McGrath playing cricket at 40?

india Updated: Oct 12, 2006 16:18 IST

Australian bowling coach Troy Cooley believes fast bowling was no more an exclusive business of youngmen and suggests Glenn McGrath at 36 is a paragon of the modern-day paceman.

"I think with the fitness programme that are now in place and the research that has gone into fast bowling, the longevity of careers is going to take a hold," Cooley said.

"You probably won't break into the team as early, unless you are a standout, but the maturity of the body is the big thing and how you look after it," he was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald'.

"Now-a-days the fast bowlers are definitely looking after themselves a lot better," he added.

McGrath, who has 542 wickets in 119 Tests, is highest-wicket taking fast bowler behind spinners Australian Shane Warne (685) and Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan (657), who lead the all-time list.

Cooley, who coached England to Ashes win last year, said unless McGrath wanted to call it quit or injuries forced him out there was no reason why he could not continue till 2009 Ashes, when he would be 40.

"If he keeps taking wickets and stays in form, there's no reason (why not). He has that desire and that's what keeps you going. There are really good programs in place for looking after your body now. So it will be whether injury stops him or whether he wants to stop," he said.

McGrath, who returned in a one-day tri-series in Malaysia after being out of action since January due wife Jane's illness, has also said he felt he was operating at about 80 per cent capacity and should be around 95 per cent when Ashes begin next month.

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