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McGrath insists no word on retirement yet
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter


Player:GD McGrath, SK Warne, IT Botham, AC Gilchrist

DateLine: 23rd December 2006

 

Australian paceman Glenn McGrath would not be drawn Friday on whether the current Ashes series against England will be his last Test action insisting he still relishes playing at the highest level.

 

McGrath - third in the all-time Test bowling charts with 555 wickets - played down a report in Sydney's Daily Telegraph that he would bow out of Test cricket after the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney but continue to play one-day internationals.

 

The 36-year-old said Shane Warne's resignation from the Australian team did not mean he would be following suit.

 

"To be honest, I haven't said anything (about retiring). It's funny where it all comes from," McGrath told commercial radio. "To me, I'm just preparing for another game. Nothing's changed since the end of the Perth Test match, apart from the fact that Shane Warne's retiring at the end of the Sydney Test. So it's funny how Warnie decides that and whether it's in his wake and I'm being pulled along as well or whether the media think it's time for me to go, I don't know."

 

But asked whether this Ashes series would mark his last Test appearance, McGrath was non-committal. "All I'm saying is that, to me, it's business as usual," he said. "I'm just preparing for these next two Test matches, then it's the one-day series and then I'll take it from there."

 

The Daily Telegraph reported that McGrath would fly to Melbourne on Friday for the fourth Ashes Test carrying his resignation letter after discussing his departure from cricket with his wife Jane, who has endured a lengthy battle with cancer.

 

McGrath, who has claimed more Test wickets than any other fast bowler, will play in the domestic one-day series and the World Cup in the West Indies which begins in March. But Australia are unlikely to play another Test after the Sydney match for 11 months.

 

"I guess we'll have to wait and see, won't we, (whether I will play on)," McGrath said. "I don't look that far ahead. In previous years, I haven't said I'm looking forward to the Test in eight months or 12 months so, for me, it's just another day at the office. I'm still enjoying it. I'm still loving playing and I've still got a lot of cricket in me."

 

The Australian team, dubbed "Dad's Army" by Ian Botham ahead of the Ashes series, is facing a generational change with the departure of Warne and the likely loss of McGrath in the near future. Speaking in Melbourne, wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist said Australian cricket officials had been preparing for years for the departures of the oldest members of the team. "I think Cricket Australia's been very aware of it - it's not like we all woke up and we were 35," he said.

 

Gilchrist, who smashed a century in the third Test off just 57 deliveries, said Warne and McGrath would be "very tough shoes to fill. But we've been without them before - and at the same time - and we've still been able to win but maybe it's not been quite as comprehensive, it's been more of a fight," he said.

 

The 35-year-old keeper said his own departure was not imminent. "It's fair to say there's probably a group of us considering where we're at and what further part cricket's got to play in our lives but not to the point where it's a real sit-down decision-making time," he said. "The time comes to you and it will really reveal itself when it is the right time and I certainly don't feel that's the case at the moment."

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