Past great Waugh could prove difference for Aussies

SUMMER is passing into autumn and the footy codes are flexing their muscles, but the cricket season has a lot more gas left in the tank before it needs to fuel up again.

The World Cup is into the finals and there promises to be some outstanding match-ups.

I am sticking with Australia as my tip, although South Africa seems to be coming good at the right time.

It was a smart move getting Steve Waugh involved in the Aussie team's preparation.

Darren Lehmann has one of the best contact books in cricket and has always loved getting past greats involved in his teams and Steve is ideal.

He hasn't spent much time around the team for a while now, so there will be a lot of the blokes who will be pinching themselves that one of their heroes will be rubbing shoulders with them once again.

With the Queensland Bulls' season done and dusted, the Sheffield Shield final will be underway this weekend as well, with Victoria 'hosting' Western Australia in the very non-Victorian surrounds of Bellerive in Hobart.

The Vics have been nomads this season due to their lack of first-class venues outside of the MCG in their state, but it has actually been a blessing in disguise I reckon.

Teams that end up on the road for an extended period actually gel and work together very well.

The Bulls ended the season on a high note, sending off skipper James Hopes in fine style with a stirring win against the Redbacks.

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Hopesy will play on next summer as a bowling allrounder, a role he has once again filled with distinction to be our leading wicket-taker.

Joey Burns showed his class with a big hundred, just a few days after graduating with a Bachelor of Economics degree.

A baggy green and a mortarboard - not bad going.

We wrapped up our season with a fairly 'Tame Tuesday', but there will be plenty going on for our group.

There are fish to catch and houses to renovate for some, others will do more studying or work before getting set for their off-season.

And, of course, there will be plenty of cricket to be played somewhere in the world.

C'mon Aussie.