It all stems back to Australia's tour of the Caribbean shores back in 1999 when Waugh had just been appointed as the Test skipper. With the last match to be played, Australia were in a bit of a bother as they were trailing 2-1.
The legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne was recovering from a shoulder injury and had had a torrid time with the ball throughout the series. Steve Waugh decided to bench Warne for the last match and called up Collin Miller in his spot - a major turning-point towards this lifelong resentment.
Speaking about his pre-match decision in an online interview with Mike Atherton, Steve Waugh revealed that he did what the team required at that time:
“It was my first tour as captain to West Indies. As a captain, you are expected to make difficult decisions. That’s why you are given the job. You are not there to please everyone. I always wanted to be loyal to be my players to a certain point, but at the end of the day, you gotta be loyal to the team and their performance,” Steve Waugh told Atherton.
I was trying to protect Shane: Steve Waugh
The former Australian skipper added that it was a difficult decision and he felt that Warne was slotted back into the team too early despite his shoulder issues:
“Warnie had just come back from shoulder surgery. I think he was put back into the team too quickly. In a lot of ways, I was trying to protect Shane, because he wasn’t bowling well at the time. Obviously, he didn’t see it that way, but if we had gone on to lose on the next Test, it wouldn’t have been good for anyone. I didn’t consult too many players. At the end of the day, you are there to make the decision, it was a tough one, of course,” Steve Waugh added.
Waugh's decision of sidelining Warne did bear fruit as Australia managed to level the series and retained the Frank Worrell Trophy. Warne, however, wasn't too pleased and deems Steve Waugh as 'selfish' till date.