Steve Waugh Biography
Steve Waugh, the former Australian cricketer and captain was born on 2nd July 1965 in Canterbury, Sydney. He was a middle order batsman, batting right-handed and used to bowl right-arm medium pace regularly until a series of back problems forced him to give it up.
Waugh is one of the hundred Australian Living Treasures, a list compiled by the National Trust of Australia. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 2003 and was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2010.
Steve Waugh was included in the New South Wales state squad for the 1984-85 season on the backdrop of the 187 he scored in the U19 test series for Australia at Melbourne, a season before.
Waugh made his first-class debut batting at number nine and bowling medium pace. He made an important 71 in the Sheffield Shield final of the season while batting with the tail to help New South Wales win the tournament.
Steve Waugh made his foray in the international arena in a Boxing Day Test match against India at Melbourne in 1985. He made only 13 and 5 and had bowling figures of 2/36 in the first innings.
During the 1985-86 season, Waugh had more success in ODI’s. He made his debut against New Zealand at Melbourne and had figures of 1/13. He could not bat in the game as it was washed off.
He played in all 12 games of the triangular tournament involving India as well, and made 266 runs at an average of 38.00 and took seven wickets.
Rise to Glory
The turning point of Steve Waugh’s career was the 1987 ICC Cricket World Cup held in the Indian subcontinent. His tight bowling during the death overs resulted in victories against India, Zimbabwe and New Zealand.
His quickfire knocks at the dying embers of the Australian innings proved handy as well. In the semi-final, Waugh hit 16 from the final over of the Australian innings. In the end, Australia won by 18 runs.
In the final, he took the wickets of Allan Lamb and Phillip deFreitas in the last three overs as Australia won the tournament for the first time. He made 167 runs at 55.66 and took 11 wickets in the tournament.
In the 1989 Ashes series, Waugh made his first Test century at Leeds, with a knock of 177* and followed it up with 152* at Lord’s. He finished the series with 506 runs.
In the final test of the Frank Worrall series against West Indies at Jamaica in 1995, Steve forged a partnership of 231 with twin brother Mark Waugh. He went onto score his maiden double hundred and helped Australia end West Indies’ unbeaten series run for 15 years.
A string of bad performances against West Indies and England in 1989-90 saw Steve Waugh being omitted in favour of brother Mark in the Test format.
The omission would define him for the second half of his career as he cut down on the number of risky shots and played a patience game. He started waiting for the loose ball and dispatched it to the fence.
Following the retirement of Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh was appointed captain of Australia in the 1999-00 season. It would be the start of an era as under him Australia conquered all nations, barring India. They won 16 consecutive test matches including a whitewash of West Indies, which is a record even now.
Steve Waugh oversaw the 1999 ICC Cricket World Cup win for Australia. He played a defining knock of 120* against South Africa in a super-six game, which is considered as the turning point of the tournament. He arrived at the crease when Australia were 48/3, chasing 272 to ensure Australia reach the semi-finals. He was dropped by Herschelle Gibbs on 56 and is rumoured to have told him, “Mate, you just dropped the World Cup”.
Under his captaincy, Australia won 41 out of 57 test matches and 67 out of 106 ODI matches.
Steve Waugh holds the record of being the only person to have scored above 150 against every Test playing nation to have existed during his time.
Steve Waugh played his last Test match against India at Sydney in 2004. He scored 80 in his final innings and foiled India’s attempts of winning a test series Down Under.
After retirement, Steve Waugh has been an avid traveller. He has also helped in charity work by setting up one for the daughters of lepers in Kolkata.