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United by birth, divided by traits: Happy Birthday to the Waugh brothers

Umaima Saeed
1.52K   //    02 Jun 2016, 16:19 IST
The Waugh Brothers are as different as chalk and cheese

A popular misconception about two kids coming from the same egg is that, along with their identical faces, their characteristics too have a common ground. Everyone lumps twins together.

But for the Australian cricketing clones, the story is different.

While the Waugh twins shared their passion for cricket and went on to becoming the pearls of OZ cricket, they differed in nearly every other aspect of life.

Just in case you are late to the Waugh Brother’s birthday party, Steve is older to Mark by four minutes. And not only do the fraternal twins have different faces; they are also as different as cheese and chalk in their characteristic traits.

On the 51st birthday of the legendary Steve and Mark Waugh, here’s looking at the attributes which highlight the contrast in their personalities.

The legends as children: Obedient and mischievous

The Waugh brothers, Mark and Stephen, were raised in a middle-class suburban district of Sydney called Bankstown. They were later joined by two more siblings. Their mother Beverley Waugh was a women’s singles tennis champion, while father Rodger Waugh was a huge fan of the same. Sports, thus, ran in the family blood.  

But as fate had it, Beverly separated with her husband a few years later and raised all the four children by her own. Since she was the only bread earner of the family, they faced harsh financial adversities.

The contrast in the traits of the twins was transparent even when they were growing up. To manage four children as a working woman was quite a task for Beverley. In order to avoid chaos at home, the first of the four brothers to rise in the morning would be entitled to the best dress for the day.

And it was always Mark who rose first. While Steve was the eldest of the squad, he was also the shortest of all and quite mischievously folded his pants using chewing gum! While Mark came across as an obedient kid, his twin counterpart was rather troublesome.

Steve was not very particular about his appearance, but Mark took his dressing seriously. Their cricketing styles, however, differed. Steve appeared serious about everything he did on the field, While Mark appeared casual.

For those who lived the era of the legendary brothers, Steve was the reserved kind while Mark often pulled a prank on his teammates. But in their early years, the duo had contrary dispositions.

Only because Mark possessed a vexatious face, he always appeared guiltier than his minutes-elder brother. Mark was one of those frightened children who would panic even on a mere merry go round ride.

As per a famous published story told by their mother Beverley, when Mark was 6 years old, he happened to climb up a cliff at an amusement park and stood petrified not knowing what to do next.

Even when they turned into stalwarts, these differences were prevalent in them but in a reversed way. Steve always appeared more focused than Mark. He got a kick out of leading the Oz or helping the underprivileged kids at Udayan.

Mark, on the other hand, appeared more flamboyant. He preferred attending the horse races and was inclined towards gambling. News even had it that his fiancée called off their engagement because of his gambling instincts. Along with Ricky Ponting, he owns quite a few horses in Australia and the two are regular at the races.

Contrast in their approach towards the game

Mark Waugh and Steve Waugh on the field for NSW Blues

The approach towards cricket, by the most celebrated batting twins, was totally different. Steve slowly nudged the ball in order to protect his wicket while Mark never feared to take chances. He would give away his wicket if he found the bowling too challenging for him.

Unlike Steve, Mark came across as an entertaining batsman. He would hit fearlessly without bothering too much about records. Also, as in contrast to Steve, Mark was a brilliant fielder at the slips, a position on the field he deservedly had the utmost authority on.

Steve Waugh often appeared superstitious too. He would be seen chewing gum on the field and also carried a red handkerchief with him as a good luck charm. Mark exhibited a carefree outlook and only wore his cricket gear.

Both the brothers were noticeably phlegmatic in nature. But Steve showed more emotions than Mark on the field. Steve, ecstatic after taking a catch, would celebrate the victory by throwing the ball in the air and embracing the bowler. But Mark would just calmly join the gathering of the players or simply shake hands with the bowler.

Also read: 5 Best Innings of Steve Waugh

Another difference in their on-field appearances was that Steve always hung his dark glasses behind his cap whereas mark wore them on his face.

But despite the contrasts in their traits, there is an inarguable similarity between the twins, both on and off the field, of being two of the greatest cricketers of all time.

Happy 51st Birthday to Steve and Mark Waugh! 

51st? We feel so old already.

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Umaima Saeed
Front seat at the HPCA, Himalayan peaks around, India-Pakistan on the ground, chicken momos in my mouth - my kind of ideal.
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