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Always room for a sledge says Waugh
Paul Mulvey
21:48 AEST Sat Jul 21 2012

Steve Waugh says there's always room for a sledge, but Kieren Perkins believes it's a tactic only used by the inferior.

Waugh's in London as one of four athlete liaison officers who'll impart their vast experience of handling the big moment to Australia's Olympic athletes, but sledging's unlikely to be among his tips.

At an Australian Olympic Committee press briefing on Saturday, an Indian journalist probed the former Test captain with a very cricket angled question.

"There's always a role for sledging," Waugh responded.

"In any sport there are mind games, whatever you want to call it, gamesmanship, sledging, whatever. But cricket is a bit different to most sports because you're out in the field for seven hours, but most of the sports here are a lot shorter than that.

"I'm sure there's mind games, body language, the way you carry yourself, that can have a huge effect on your opponents.

"I haven't competed at an Olympics ... but I don't think there's too much sledging going on."

While Waugh was the master of sledging, which he described as mental disintegration, fellow liaison officer Perkins dismissed it as a tactic employed by inferior athletes.

"The people doing the sledging aren't good enough, so they have to find other ways to slow te rest of us down," the triple Olympic swimming gold medallist said.

"Those of us that are good enough couldn't care less, we just get on with it. There's not much sledging at all, there's no time."

One of Waugh's roles is to ease the nerves of young athletes overawed by the occasion.

But 19-year-old archer Elisa Barnard seems to have no fears about competing at Lord's, the home of cricket turned into the Olympic archery venue.

"She didn't really know what Lord's was," he said.

"I asked her which end is she shooting from and she said 'the end where there's an old, red brick building behind us' and I said 'that's actually the Lord's Pavilion'."

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