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Sight Screen

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tales of Waugh v1(-worma)

Over the weekend, I went through the numerous extracts from Waugh's new book....and yes, the sheer enormity and range of the 'revelations'...its mind boggling! I'll try to put together the many links, and some choice extracts here. But this book, so far, looks like 'The' cricket book of my generation (as all generations have theirs).

First up...and this one can be a caution as well as a balm for the Indian supporters worried about the 'differences' in our team...Waugh discloses that Warne had a problem with his captaincy during the '99 WC campaign. And yet we know what that team achieved. Point, to me, is that all teams(apparently the great ones too) have similar issues.

And this is what he goes on to say about his sacking as ODI captain
Waugh was shocked by the way that decision was made.

He says: "I didn't have a problem with the decision. However, I did have an issue with the lack of man-management skills involved.

"Surely, after so many years playing and being the captain of a side that had been ranked No.7 when I took over and was now No.1, at least one phone call or conversation letting me know how the selectors saw the bigger picture would have been nice.

"The clinical efficiency of my dismissal stung me most because as a player I had always given everything."
Which again highlights the fact that selection panels, all around the world, are bound to be 'controversial'. (There are recent examples...speculations of Cairns being dropped for non-cricketing reasons, Martyn's scape-goat act post Ashes is appaling to say the least...but those for another post)

Then, there is another passage in which he reveals his desperation(or determination) to get back to the ODI side, that he proposed to CA to lead the Aus A team to SA! And even that being denied, he then moved to Kent, to keep in touch with ODI cricket. He continues with his county experience, throwing light on their 'mint chewing' habits...and now we know it doesn't matter what Bracken and Jones are claiming and/or denying.
"On my first day in the field, I got a whiff of the mentality of some of the guys when I was offered some extra-strong mints from a team-mate, which I thought was a nice gesture to make me feel welcome," he says in the book.

"Seconds later, as I crunched into a chalky, coin-sized lozenge, a startled voice said: What the hell are you doing? You don't chew the mints!'

"'Why not? They taste pretty good, pal,' Waugh retorted.

"'You're wasting them,' his team-mate replied.

'You're supposed to suck 'em and then use the saliva to polish the ball. It's the best ball shiner available.'

"'Piss off, mate, I'm eating mine,' Waugh said.

"It was the last free mint I was offered. Even though it wasn't that important then, it was a sign that all wasn't well.


But its this particular piece, from the same article, which 'converted' me to a sure-shot customer of this book. Its from the Aus-Pak test series (in Colombo, UAE etc...where Akhtar was in devastating form)
Waugh reveals that selectors' decisions and media criticism weighed on him in his last few years of the game. During a series against Pakistan in the UAE, he was feeling low following a bad performance in Sharjah for his 150th Test.

"I knew that with another failure in the next Test, my tally would be complete at 151 (Tests)," he wrote.

"In the days before the match, Mark and I became the target of taunts from the Pakistan coach, Richard Pybus, who said we were past it, which was a bit rich considering his side had been annihilated.

"I noted that Mark didn't appear to be too angered by the comments, which concerned me, as he normally hated negative press.

"The four years of constant inquisition about the bookie affair had worn him down and the game was no longer fun for him, or the adventure it used to be."

Waugh, who had been without his lucky red rag for the previous game, was relieved to have it couriered over and encouragement from team-mates made him determined to do well.

Waqar Younis welcomed him with the words, "'Let's send him out in style, fellas. Let's make his last Test finish with a duck' before I'd even scratched out my centre. I returned fire with 'Not today'."

Waugh brought up his century with two successive sixes.
Also delightfully revealing is the Waugh-Lara incidence from the 2003 Carribean tour(the McGrath-Sarwan tour :-). The picture, also shown in this article, of ice-cool Waugh and Volcano-hot Lara inches from each other is still clear in my mind. Which is why its such an interesting prospect for me...to think that the book would be full of such insights into the personality of this man...and also that of his contemporaies, some of whom are equally, if not more, interesting.

6 Comments:

  • Worma,
    Both posts are really great! Fascinating excerpts from, you hit the nail on the head, a must buy. I simply cannot believe all the things Steve Waugh is willing to reveal. If there was any animosity with some of his teammates and coach, this is hardly going to help the relationship, not that it matters now. Can't wait for a Warne autobiography to take some shots at Waugh.
    On the "sweet saliva issue":
    Very interesting take from Simon Jones

    Jones said he did not use mints and was not sure whether any of his team-mates attempted the tactic. "It's probably just sour grapes," he said. "What's happened on the field, happened on the field."

    Jones is not sure whether his team used the tactic? Not sure? And then read the quotes carefully-- "PROBABLY just sour grapes" (emphasis added)- probably? And the last one's a doozy. Is it supposed to mean that well, if we tampered with the ball that should stay "on the field." I always knew this was common practice in English cricket (Richie Benaud alluded to it several times in the commentary box-- said something to the effect that there are many uses for those mints when a player pulled a handful out of his pocket).

    Keep up the good work.

    By Blogger Sahir, at 06:20  

  • Interesting excerpt from Cricinfo article on ultimatum from English barod directed at Indian board:

    According to Indo Asian News Service, David Morgan, the chairman of the ECB, sent a letter to Jagmohan Dalmiya, the former president of the BCCI where he said: "May I please request that the unprecedented issues are handled as a matter of the utmost urgency and that the tour itineraries are proposed to ECB no later than the end of October for release on or before Nov 2."

    So now Jagmohan Dalmiya's dictatorship is so obvious that even opposing boards are sending requests and demands directly to him. How ridiculuous! The BCCI continues to embarass Indians worldwide

    By Blogger Sahir, at 06:33  

  • sahir LOL about the whole 'mint' controversy :-)....I know the language used by Jones was very iffy..and this was well caught and highlighted in a guardian article (I linked in an earlier post). But thats why I said here, *now* it doesnt matter what Bracken and Jones are saying...since its there in Waugh's book...who is not only respected, but is mostly honest(and not an off-the-field Pom basher, as far as I know)...and most importantly he's not an active cricketer...and surely wrote this incidence much before Bracken and Jones went public with their bit.

    By Blogger worma, at 06:34  

  • sahir..here's the Guardian article which catches the loophole in Jone's statement. Although it didn't catch the 'probably' you caught above ;-)

    By Blogger worma, at 06:42  

  • 500,000 Talks

    By Blogger P K, at 07:43  

  • Steve Waugh doesn't hold back does he. Can't wait to lay my hands on this book.

    By Blogger ClannZĂș, at 13:33  

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