By TANIA PHILLIPS
MICHAEL Clarke is being hailed as the "new Doug Walters," but the man himself is just happy to see young players being blooded into the Australian team.
Walters, on the Tweed yesterday for Cudgen Headland Surf Club's Sporting Lunch, said he hoped Clarke's selection would be the start of a move to bring forward more of Australia's young players.
"It is amazing he (Clarke) has been around a couple of years and is just making his Test match debut," Walters said.
"I thought he might have been in the side before this.
"We need to get our youngsters in form, particularly with our ageing Test side," he said.
"Three years down the track there will be a few players retiring.
"It makes sense to bring young players in rather than dropping 38-year-old blokes and picking 36-year-old blokes."
Walters said while Australia had a good team at the moment we needed to look to the future.
With the world media quick to make comparisons between the stylish Clarke and 1970s batting hero Walters, the Australian legend was in demand yesterday.
"People rang me from all over the world," he said breaking into his trademark larrikin grin.
"I had to turn my mobile phone off."
Walters said he was getting used to players being referred to as "the new Dougie".
"They don't have a lot to beat that way," he said laughing.
"They used to refer to them as the next Bradman, but that gave them no chance."