Coach wants Waugh to relax
Steve Rixon wants Steve Waugh, to relax and enjoy himself as the Blues attempt to claw their way back from the wrong end of the Sheffield Shield standings against Victoria.india Updated: Jan 09, 2004 02:40 IST
New South Wales coach Steve Rixon wants Steve Waugh, having recovered from his post-Test euphoria, to relax and enjoy himself as the Blues attempt to claw their way back from the wrong end of the Sheffield Shield standings against Victoria.
Rixon believes expected crowds each day of 5,000-plus people in Newcastle, north of here, will give the Blues more of a home advantage than their base at the Sydney Cricket Ground, which is usually virtually empty.
The Blues are second last on the Shield table.
A victory against the pace-setting Victorians will re-ignite their title defence and give Waugh, playing on for the Blues despite his retirement from the Test side, renewed hope of being in one last domestic final before he quits all forms of the game.
"I'd like to see Steve just enjoy his cricket," Rixon said on Thursday.
"If he enjoys it, I know the players will relax. If they're relaxed we'll play good cricket. It's an easy equation.
"I don't ever have to speak to Stephen about his mindset. If he's playing, that indicates he's ready to play."
Waugh deflected questions about his celebrated after-match drinks party following the Sydney Test - other than admitting to a hangover.
"We're a fair way behind right now," said Waugh. "We have to win or play well to get things going because we've only got five games left. We need to get a move on."
The 38-year-old Test legend said he would not emulate his brother, Mark, and former Australian skipper Allan Border by playing full seasons in the Sheffield Shield after retirement.
"This is it," he said, confirming he would not be back for the Blues next season.
"There are plenty of good young players out there."