what is he good for?
You know you’ve reached the pinnacle of Australian sport when the 12th Man, Billy Birmingham takes the piss out of you. Australian test cricket batsman Steve Waugh reached that pinnacle many years ago and yesterday announced a landmark of another sort.
The most successful cricket captain of all time will retire after the final test against India in Sydney this summer (Jan 2-6). After 18 years in the international arena and all sorts of records, Waugh has decided it’s time.
Steve Waugh truly is a legend of Australian sport. He has done it all in his international career – nearly 100 wickets, over 10,000 runs, more caps than any other player, the best winning percentage of any captain (over 75%).
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But he is more than a great player. He’s an incredible leader. Under his direction, the Australian team has made test cricket watchable. He is aggressive and always wants a win, even if it means taking a loss. He has supported his players and developed a strong pride in what it means to play cricket for Australia. He has also tried to encourage them to experience more of the countries that they tour in, rather than sit in the hotel when they’re not playing.
He is fiercely loyal and a great believer in the history of the game. It is because of him that every cricket playing kid wants to wear a baggy green cap. And in India he is held in as high esteem as their own batting legend, Sachin Tendulkar.
It would be wonderful to be in the SCG on the last day of the test as Sydney, and Australia, pays tribute to one of its favourite sons.