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Sight Screen

Monday, October 24, 2005

Tales of Waugh v2(-worma)

At the end of the last article linked in previous post, another 'lesson' for us...this one about 'differences' between coach and captain ;-)
At the end of the year, Waugh found himself negotiating contracts. He reveals just how low the Australian captain rated on the pay scale.

"I went in with modest expectations after being ranked the 13th most important player in Australia during the previous year's negotiations over a one-year contract," he writes.

"I thought the length of that deal was probably fair enough, but still somewhat galling, considering the team manager (Steve Bernard) had been given a three-year guarantee after a performance that I would consider steady at best.

"As it turned out, my surge from 13th to 12th in the rankings was merely cosmetic, but nevertheless a pleasant move and in complete contrast to the ambush that lay in waiting.

"I was told by the chairman of selectors (Trevor Hohns), in a statement that was backed up by the coach (John Buchanan), that there were one or two players unhappy with my captaincy.

"This was the first time I'd heard any such rumblings and I didn't appreciate the coach divulging his perceptions in this forum, especially when he'd had six weeks in the West Indies and a further two months afterwards to let me in on the issue.

"Further annoying for me was that no reasons, no issues, no clarity and no names were put forward, meaning I had absolutely no idea what the problem was or, in fact, whether there was a genuine concern."

Waugh asked team members about the claims and believes they were without real foundation and that a "link had been taken out of the chain of trust between Buck (Buchanan) and me that day".
And we all know this is not the only time when there was a difference between Waugh and Buchanan. Waugh was publicly known to have advocated for taking away Buchanan's rights in selectorial matters.

And some more revelations here, this time from the 1999 Caribbean tour. This time talking about the fragmentation in the team
"What I saw as a drinking culture was affecting more members of the squad than I had initially thought," he wrote.

"We were tending to socialise in the same groups (and) that had unhinged what should have been the joker in our pack: togetherness.

"As captain, I felt slightly let down by my most senior professional, Ian Healy, who was struggling to come to terms with the approaching end of his career and for the first time in his cricket life had let his discipline and work ethic slide.

"Mark Waugh had an average tour and didn't get involved enough in the running of the team, while some younger guys followed the leads and erroneous ways of others.

"I felt betrayed when later I discovered that secret pacts had been made by some of the guys to stay out past curfew"
To me, the most amazing aspect of all these revelations is that it was all happening in the midst of the 'dominant' phase of the team. That all this while, on the playing field, this team was blowing away all opposition. That does say a lot about the 'on-field' character of the team, and how, at times, that can work 'above' the off-field differences.

In the same article, he talks of dropping Warne, and his differences with Chappel, who called him a selfish cricketer.
Waugh also had a shot at the man he regards as his constant critic, former Test skipper and prominent TV commentator Chappell.

"Ian Chappell has always sweated on my blunders and reported them with an 'I told you so' mentality.

"He labelled me 'selfish' which for a cricketer is tantamount to being accused of treason.

"To say Chappell's criticism irked me would be an understatement, but I knew he was entitled to his opinion.

"(But) I have always felt that a critic must be either constructive or base his comments on fact."

And another one here. This one's about the Slater episode. As we know Slater had recently accused Waugh for his drop from test squad, and that too at a difficult time of his life. Waugh speaks about his involvement, and with no regrets related to the issue. He does blame CA for not doing enough about it, at the time, despite his request. Has some good words for Buchanan in this passage.

Finally...I feel sorry for the sales figures of Freddie's book ;-)

Update : Also check out the Waugh-Ambrose incident from '95 Carribean tour, also from the book, as quoted here. And more excerpts around the match-fixing aspects here. The Rashid Latif incidence is 'funny' :-)


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  • great links Worma - you have sold that book to me now! I never really liked Waugh - I always thought he was given too much "bhaav" - for most part he had a world class team at his disposal - but a fascinating story nevertheless.

    By Blogger ze rambler, at 05:47  

  • Hmm - good post Worma! This caught my eye:

    "He labelled me 'selfish' which for a cricketer is tantamount to being accused of treason.

    "To say Chappell's criticism irked me would be an understatement, but I knew he was entitled to his opinion.

    "(But) I have always felt that a critic must be either constructive or base his comments on fact."

    Labelling the captain selfish and not being constructive in criticism seems to a Chappell trait! ;-)

    By Blogger vshan, at 05:50  

  • On a side note, I repeat what I mentioned in another post which would soon get buried -

    I happened to see the sixes tournament in Hong Kong on TV. Robin Singh led the India XI which included Kanitkar, Sodhi, and a few other names that have represented India.

    One interesting aspect I noticed was that a 42+ Robin Singh was pushing Sodhi to run this twos and threes harder! ;-)

    And boy, he still packs a punch in his slogs over mid wicket.

    And it was quite clear who the fittest member of the Indian team was.

    I would go further to say that RR would probably be the fittest in the current Indian XI if selected.

    This guy is simply wonderful. And of course, he is such a down to earth unassuming man. Wish our board made better use of him as a coach. And hopefully he will play a role in the NCA with budding cricketers - he should be India's role model and not the Ganguly's and Sehwag's or the Zaheers and Balajis who seem to not want to spend time on their fitness levels. (In the world series, I noticed Sehwag's paunch - it might soon come in his way of hitting the red cheery that he loves to do so much).

    By Blogger vshan, at 05:51  

  • ze rambler...yeah I should probably charge some commission from the publishers ;-)

    vshan: do note that this is Ian Chappel that Waugh mentions here...although you are right...he recently criticised Ponting also.

    And where did you watch the Hongkong sixes? Btw, Robin has long been associated with the coaching of junior teams...maybe an India coach is not the flavour of the day yet....lets wait and watch how he grows....Prem did mention once that Robin is a bit laid-back in his approach to things(well not in a negative way) but that does affect one's chances in today's cut-throat competitive world.

    You saying VS as got fatter?..hmm..but its not even off-season in our cricketing calendar! I could have understood that at the start of the season..

    By Blogger worma, at 06:01  

  • Somebody's got to control Aarti Sehwag's cooking! Stay away Veeru! Although, if he's fat now, that's not anything 12 straight ODIs and 3 tests in pretty sapping conditions won't take care of. However, unfortunately may affect his performances-- hope not!

    By Blogger Sahir, at 07:05  

  • worma

    I said Chappell trait :-) - holds for all siblings!

    I saw the Hong Kong sixes on some sports channel - maybe Ten Sports. Or maybe ESPN. Not too sure. I was browing and happened to see Robin walk in with someone (realized it was Sodhi without his Sikh turban later on - yep - the guy sports a neat hair cut now) and then really turn it on a hapless Paki attack that too boasted of recent international discards.

    VS definitely looked a tad out of shape at Sydney. But he looked better while standing next to Inzy! ;-)

    By Blogger vshan, at 07:20  

  • >>Somebody's got to control Aarti Sehwag's cooking!

    Or is he having a free pass to Tendulaks, Gangulys and Zaheers

    By Blogger P K, at 07:40  

  • worma: great job there!! A good summary... seems like a book that is a must read...

    It is not on sale in the US... does anyone know which website has it... it is not on Amazon yet...

    By Blogger Mayur, at 09:11  

  • Nice post worma, but is there a link to sales for Flintoff's book?

    By Blogger The Straighter Neo, at 12:12  

  • Worma,
    I wonder if we really need to buy the book now?
    and there may be part 3 and 4 of yours, possibly?

    Also, would they say, Ganguly chickened out because of Nagpur again! Would they say he bribed the bowlers of North to allow him to score a 100+ ! Well, this may be a bit of too much tongue in cheek!

    By Blogger CrickTip, at 12:19  

  • I really wonder what Ian Chappell has against Steve Waugh. He was never critical of Mark. Its sort of strange because Ian Chappell's playing style and captaincy was so much similar to the senior Waugh. Both were tough as nails batsmen unlike their graceful brothers and both known for their sledging and winning at all costs mentality.

    By Blogger ClannZĂș, at 13:28  

  • neo: no link...just that someone, planning to buy one cricket book this season would obviously go for Waugh's...like me ;-)

    cricktip: well, that is a smart move..lets wait for more promotional material to come out ;-)...btw its an 800 page book! And part 3, 4 depends on how much more the publishers release...will watch out. Although I doubt if Waugh would know about Nagpur....I'll wait for Ganguly's book on that incidence (no..seriously!)

    clannzu: Ian Chappel seems to be, in general, after Aus captains..look how he went after Ponting recently. Although regarding Steve, in one of the articles(must be in the links) Steve does mention the probable reason....that Steve was close to Bob Simpson who was sworn enemy of Chappel right from his playing days...so that *may* be the reason

    By Blogger worma, at 14:12  

  • goodness me Worma. Who will buy waugh's book after what you have put down. You seem to put down the entire book here. btw great job and thank you

    By Blogger J, at 14:41  

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