England are close to being the No.1 cricketing nation October 3, 2005

Waugh: Australia are not on the wane

Cricinfo staff



Waugh: 'At the moment England are pretty entitled to say they are, at least, close to being the No.1 cricketing nation, if not No.1' © Getty Images

The former Australian captain Steve Waugh has warned England not to rest on its laurels, despite winning the Ashes last month. While he concedes England outplayed Australia in the summer, he added that for England to be considered a truly great team, they need to retain the urn when they resume battle next winter.

Waugh had been playing with Australian golfer Nick O'Hern in the Dunhill Links Championship, and was joined by Andrew Strauss, Michael Vaughan, Paul Collingwood and Ian Botham. Commenting before flying home to Sydney, he told the newpaper The Australian that he didn't "believe for a moment Australia are on the wane."

"When you are in a two-way contest someone has to win and someone has to lose, and it's just that England outplayed Australia," he said. "It's just that they [Australia] didn't play as well as they [would have] liked and the next six months will be a real challenge to see how Australia copes following this recent series.

"But I wouldn't write Australia off just yet. And for England to judge itself as a great team they have to win both home and away against every side, and that is something England must set themselves the task to achieve.

"At the moment they are pretty entitled to say they are, at least, close to being the No.1 cricketing nation, if not No.1.

"Of course, both sides will be a lot different but if England do beat Australia on Australian soil then they will be entitled to say they have got one over Australia, but it will be a tough ask. They are entitled to gloat, as they have waited for so long to have their moment in the sun."

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