Tendulkar inspires me to go on, says Hussey

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The Independent Online

Australian batsman Mike Hussey has said that he has no immediate plans to retire from Test cricket. The 35-year-old has faced questions over his future, given his age and recent form, but insists he wants to play in the Ashes. His decision is driven, in part, by the recent successes of Sachin Tendulkar, who at the age of 37 has just passed 14,000 Test runs.

"It does give you a bit of inspiration... and I've got a lot of inspiration from a lot of guys," Hussey said yesterday. "Steve Waugh played quite late into his 30s, Matthew Hayden played very well, Justin Langer played very well into his late 30s, so I don't think age is a barrier."

But the batsman faces as many questions over his form as over his age. He started his Test career in the autumn after the 2005 Ashes defeat, and did so with a remarkable streak of form: scoring 2,120 runs in his first 20 Tests at an average of 84.80. But since early 2008, Hussey's form has dipped: in his last 34 Tests he has averaged 34.80, scoring fewer runs (1,960) and fewer centuries (three).

Regardless, Hussey goes into this winter's Ashes full of confidence. "It's about whether you're up for the battle, you're enjoying the challenge out in the middle, enjoying playing for Australia – which is a pretty easy thing to do – and as long as you're contributing to the team, that's what it comes down to in the end.

"While I'm enjoying it and I feel like I can contribute to the team, I want to keep going."

Meanwhile, the Indian Premier League could be reduced to seven sides next year after its governing body, the BCCI, gave the Kochi franchise a 30-day deadline to resolve an ownership dispute.