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Steve Waugh- End of an era

Written by: Sajith Balakrishnan
Published: Sunday, November 30, 2003, 12:58 [IST]
 
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From January 2004, a famous name would be missing from the mighty Australian batting line-up. That is of Stephen Rodger Waugh. Bringing curtains to the Waugh Era would be the Sydney Test against India that Waugh has decided to be his swansong. From the beginning of 90's Australian batting has revolved around Steve Waugh and his twin brother Mark Waugh who is more of the racy and classy among the siblings. Steve didn't want to go his brother's way of waiting to be dropped. Instead, he decided that enough is enough by declaring his intentions to call it quits at the end of the Sydney Test, the very ground on which he made his Test debut against the same opposition almost two decades ago, thereby granting him the luxury of a warm farewell, that too in front of his home crowd for whom he has always reserved his best. Waugh's decision has drawn flak from his illustrious predecessor Mark Taylor who alleged him of having struck a deal with theFrom January 2004, a famous name would be missing from the mighty Australian batting line-up. That is of Stephen Rodger Waugh. Bringing curtains to the Waugh Era would be the Sydney Test against India that Waugh has decided to be his swansong.

From the beginning of 90's Australian batting has revolved around Steve Waugh and his twin brother Mark Waugh who is more of the racy and classy among the siblings. Steve didn't want to go his brother's way of waiting to be dropped. Instead, he decided that enough is enough by declaring his intentions to call it quits at the end of the Sydney Test, the very ground on which he made his Test debut against the same opposition almost two decades ago, thereby granting him the luxury of a warm farewell, that too in front of his home crowd for whom he has always reserved his best.

Waugh's decision has drawn flak from his illustrious predecessor Mark Taylor who alleged him of having struck a deal with the selectors to ensure his place in the side for the home series against India. However, Waugh is not the one to be perturbed by these allegations. In fact, adversity has brought the best out of him. Gibbs, the Poms and the Caribbeans might be the first to acknowledge it.

Despite knowing the fact that 715 runs, 9 wickets and three Test hundreds (which may elevate him to an exalted zone) are within his reach, he has decided to bow out, setting an example for the present lot of cricketers. Even when he was stripped of the One-day captaincy a year after winning the World Cup at the Mecca of cricket, Waugh had the tenacity to stay put with the longer version of the game, were his durability and mental toughness came to the fore. Time and again, he has rescued the Kangaroos from the brink. The 'iceman' tag is a befitting one to this warrior.

Waugh has always epitomised ruthless aggression and dogged determination. Captaincy made him more mature as a player as well as a batsman and he was a role model for the juniors in the side. Ricky Ponting who has been anointed as Waugh's successor would be the first one to admit that. Steve had once dubbed him as the future of Australian cricket. It was under Waugh's tutelage that a crop of fast bowlers as well as champion leg-spinner Shane Warne prospered. To Waugh goes the credit of transforming many Aussie fringe players to outstanding match-winners. He could separate the men from the boys. A fair dinkum Aussie indeed.

Off the field also the crisis man of Australian cricket has carved a niche for himself. The children of Udayan (with whom he has an eternal bond) at Kolkata in India have already asked him to re-consider his decision. Already, he has been made Australia's tourism envoy to India.

Speculations have already started regarding Waugh's post-retirement plans. Clamours have already begun from India to make him a mentor. An offer for a stint with the hallowed box of Channel 9 network may also be in the offing. But adhering to his image as one who thinks a lot, Waugh has so far revealed nothing other than saying that he wishes to spend a considerable time with his family members who he has been missing a lot ever since he burst onto the stage as a bits-and-pieces all-rounder in the mid-80s. From there his transformation into a world-class batsman and to a captain who leads from the front has been phenomenal. selectors to ensure his place in the side for the home series against India. However, Waugh is not the one to be perturbed by these allegations. In fact, adversity has brought the best out of him. Gibbs, the Poms and the Caribbeans might be the first to acknowledge it. Despite knowing the fact that 715 runs, 9 wickets and three Test hundreds (which may elevate him to an exalted zone) are within his reach, he has decided to bow out, setting an example for the present lot of cricketers. Even when he was stripped of the One-day captaincy a year after winning the World Cup at the Mecca of cricket, Waugh had the tenacity to stay put with the longer version of the game, were his durability and mental toughness came to the fore. Time and again, he has rescued the Kangaroos from the brink. The 'iceman' tag is a befitting one to this warrior. Waugh has always epitomised ruthless aggression and dogged determination. Captaincy made him more mature as a player as well as a batsman and he was a role model for the juniors in the side. Ricky Ponting who has been anointed as Waugh's successor would be the first one to admit that. Steve had once dubbed him as the future of Australian cricket. It was under Waugh's tutelage that a crop of fast bowlers as well as champion leg-spinner Shane Warne prospered. To Waugh goes the credit of transforming many Aussie fringe players to outstanding match-winners. He could separate the men from the boys. A fair dinkum Aussie indeed. Off the field also the crisis man of Australian cricket has carved a niche for himself. The children of Udayan (with whom he has an eternal bond) at Kolkata in India have already asked him to re-consider his decision. Already, he has been made Australia's tourism envoy to India. Speculations have already started regarding Waugh's post-retirement plans. Clamours have already begun from India to make him a mentor. An offer for a stint with the hallowed box of Channel 9 network may also be in the offing. But adhering to his image as one who thinks a lot, Waugh has so far revealed nothing other than saying that he wishes to spend a considerable time with his family members who he has been missing a lot ever since he burst onto the stage as a bits-and-pieces all-rounder in the mid-80s. From there his transformation into a world-class batsman and to a captain who leads from the front has been phenomenal.

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