FORMER Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh has announced his support for his country's bid to host the FIFA World Cup.
Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh has announced his support for Australia's bid to host the FIFA World Cup.
Waugh will be in South Africa to cheer on the Socceroos during the 2010 World Cup tournament, while also supporting Australia's bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Sport has always been an important part of Waugh's life - both on the cricket and football fields. In 1983, he was selected to play in the Australian Schoolboy football team, before a career in cricket quickly took over.
Waugh has strong links with South Africa from his cricket career, including a memorable 120 not out against South Africa in a crucial match during the 1999 Cricket World Cup, before leading Australia to victory in the tournament.
His international career spanned from 1985 - 2004, playing a total of 168 Test Matches and 325 One Day Internationals where he captained Australia in both forms of the game.
During this time his achievements included obtaining the world number 1 ranking for a batsman and captained Australia to a world record 16 consecutive test victories. Against this year's FIFA World Cup hosts, South Africa, Waugh played 16 Test matches and 47 one day Internationals, with his final one day International being a victory against South Africa in 2002.
Waugh is recognised in the cricket and wider sports world, at the highest levels. He is also a member of the prestigious Laureus World Sports Academy.
"In 18 years of touring as a professional cricketer, I saw many different countries - but Australia's ability as a nation to host successful major events, together with the welcoming nature of the Australian people, always made me feel proud," said Waugh.
"Australia is a sports loving nation that is ready to host the greatest show on earth, the FIFA World Cup" he added.
Waugh now joins a range of other Aussie icons and celebrities who support Australia's bid.
"We are honoured to have the support of Steve Waugh, as we continue our efforts to bring the FIFA World Cup to our continent," said Football Federation Australia CEO, Ben Buckley.