Steve Waugh urges teams to play quality cricket before 2015 WC
Melbourne: Former Australia skipper Steve Waugh has urged all the tops teams of the world to prepare for the 2015 Cricket World Cup by playing quality one-day matches in the lead up to ICC`s flagship event.
Waugh was a key allrounder in the World Cup winning Australian side in 1987, while he was captain of the team in 1999 when it won the title for the second time.
"The teams need to play as much quality one-day cricket as they can in the six month period leading up to the event. The key to the tournament will be gathering momentum at the right time," he said.
In the lead up to the World Cup, Australia are scheduled to host South Africa for five ODIs and three T20Is in November, before hosting India for four Tests from the beginning of December. They will then take on India and England in a three-nation tournament in January 2015.
Australia entered the 1992 World Cup as the defending champions but according to Waugh they failed to peak at the right time and ended up finishing fifth on the points table with four wins and as many defeats.
"It was fantastic for the country to host the World Cup, and was great to be a part of it, but ultimately extremely disappointing from the team`s point of view.
"Looking back, our preparation was not good enough -- we had come from playing first-class cricket straight into playing one-day cricket, which was not ideal," said Waugh, who scored 187 runs at an average of 26.71 and took eight wickets at an average of 34.62 with his medium-pace in 1992 WC.
The 2015 World Cup will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand from February 14 to March 29.
Sri Lanka`s Sanath Jayasuriya, meanwhile, advised the youngsters appearing in the World Cup for the first time, not to get overawed by the situation.
"A comprehensive batting, bowling and fielding effort by any team (is essential), but most importantly the team that peaks at the right time will win the World Cup 2015.
"For first time players, my view is that without focusing too much on the pressures of the World Cup they should focus on their natural game," said Jayasuriya.