Waugh welcomes Walsh's decision

The Australian captain, Steve Waugh, said yesterday that he was happy that Courtney Walsh, the top wicket-taker in Test cricket, would be touring the country with West Indies later this year.

The Australian captain, Steve Waugh, said yesterday that he was happy that Courtney Walsh, the top wicket-taker in Test cricket, would be touring the country with West Indies later this year.

Walsh, 38 this month and with 483 Test wickets to his credit, had refrained from making a decision about his future after the 3-1 series defeat by England.

Waugh said the milestone of 500 Test scalps would have been the incentive for Walsh to embark on another tour. "I knew he was coming four weeks ago," Waugh said, adding "the cricket grapevine" had kept him abreast of developments.

"I'm glad he's coming because he'll make us switch on. People have been telling us we're going to beat West Indies easily but it won't be easy. Courtney's a quality player and he'll be a real threat out here."

In a report on the Sydney Morning Herald website on Saturday. The West Indies chairman of selectors, Mike Findlay, said Walsh had informed him by phone that he would be available to tour Australia.

"Courtney is yet to tell us if he will be available for one-day games as well as Tests," he was quoted as telling the Sun-Herald newspaper.

Walsh's long-standing strike partner Curtly Ambrose retired after the five-match series in England.

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