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Waugh's mistake cost Australia 2001 series: Border

Harini Rana in Mumbai | June 04, 2004 21:11 IST

"I can't keep the ball straight." That statement comes as a surprise when you hear it from none other than former Australia cricket captain Allan Border. Never mind that he was describing his weakness at golf and not cricket!

A feisty competitor, Border came into the national team at a difficult time. He inherited the captaincy when the side was struggling and proceeded to rebuild Australia into a force to reckon with.

The courageous captain, who won the World Cup for Australia in India in 1987, is on a visit to the country to participate in the McDowell's Celebrity Golf tournament and help generate funds for CHAMPS Foundation, an organization that helps needy former sports persons.

Border reached Mumbai from Delhi on Friday afternoon and met up with the Communist Party, which is part of the ruling Congress coalition, and a few members of the Congress to put forward his company's case for a license to start Cola mining in India.

"It's great to be back in India," he said.  "I am very passionate about golf and have been practicing really hard since last month-and-half to do well in the tournament. Golf right now is the new sporting passion," he added.

He said he enjoys playing the game as "it helps me relax".

"Tough golf is not getting as much coverage as cricket in India, things will change few years down."

Talking about the plight of retired sports persons, he said, "Lot of sporting people miss out on their professional front. Today there is lot of money in sports and cricket especially. So it feels a bit when you have worked and put 100 per cent for 15 years of your life in sports and did not have so much of luxury as you have today," he said.

Dwelling on the injury problems faced by Australian bowlers, he said, "It is an occupational hazard for the fast bowlers. There needs to be better monitoring of the workload on the pacers and they should not rush to get playing once injured."

Analyzing Australia's 2001 tour of India, he said, "It was a great tour, but one technical mistake of [Steve] Waugh in the Calcutta Test [Laxman scored the epic 281] cost us the series."

"I think the 2004 series will be more competitive and hope Shane Warne will show his real talent, since this will be his last tour to India."

The southpaw has brought along with him from Sydney a special golf kit. He is looking forward to enjoying his visit and rub shoulders with Mumbai's celebrities over the weekend.

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