Steve Waugh, the centre of resurgence for Australian cricket in the 20th century, turned 55 on Tuesday. The elder of the Waugh brothers, Steve is the most successful Test captains to have graced the game beside being a great batsman. Steve Waugh was a medium-pacer too, however, his skills with the bat overpowered his bowling.
Steve Waugh: As a player
Steve Waugh made his first appearance in competitive cricket at the age of eight at the Bankstown District under 10s tournament. He started playing at number nine for New South Wales between 1984 to 85. Steve was instrumental in helping New South Wales clinch the Sheffield Shield with his 71-run knock.
Waugh made his Test debut against India in 1985-86 season but had to wait till the subsequent series against New Zealand to leave his mark on the game. Initially, Steve stood out to be a better player in the ODIs than Tests.
It was Steve, who developed the slog sweep technique during the 1998 Commonwealth Games, against spin bowling. He was a defensive, on the back foot kind of player, who liked to sway away from the bouncers rather challenging it. However, a back injury, kept him away from bowling .
Steve retired with 10927 runs in Test cricket at an average of 51.06. He hit 32 centuries and 52 half-centuries in the format. In the ODIs, he featured in 325 matches for Australia, scoring over 7000 runs. He had a brilliant record as a Test captain with 71.92% of wins.
Steve Waugh: What is he up to now
Steve Waugh donned many hats in his career. Post retirement he continues to be a philanthropist with his charity work under the name of ‘The Steve Waugh Foundation’. He also occasionally continued to be a part of the broadcasters and gives his opinion on various aspects of the game and his national team.
Steve Waugh: Lesser known facts
Steve Waugh was elder by four minutes to his twin brother Mark. He came from a sporting family with his grandfather Edward being a greyhound trainer. He also had other two brothers, one of them went on to play domestic cricket. At a young age, Steve was organised to play soccer, tennis and cricket. Incidentally, the Waugh brothers were dismissed for a duck each in their first match.
His son Austin is also an all-rounder and featured in the 2018 U-19 World Cup in New Zealand. He took inspiration from Mother Teresa for his philanthropic activities. He was a more successful Test captain than Ricky Ponting. Steve was one of the two Australians to be given out for handling the ball after Andrew Hilditch in 1979.