| STEVE: Gems from the past
Sydney: Steve Waugh may not be the selectors choice to make the World Cup provisional squad but he is still a hot favourite among the public, if the response to his latest book is any indication.
‘Steve Waugh: Captain’s Diary 2002’ has made it to the bestseller list in book shops across the country and is still climbing the charts.
The book, the tenth by the 37-year-old superstar, describes in detail his experience in India during his visits to the country earlier this year. “It’s pretty incredible the following cricket has in India,” he writes.
Despite being to India so many times, he’s amazed even more every time.
“The size and enthusiasm of the crowds that greeted me wherever I went truly astonished me. In fact, it took me a while to understand that the crowd yelling ‘Steveda’ and ‘Waughda’ was out of respect for me.
“It’s actually good to return to Australia and get one’s feet back on the ground and realise that one is normal just like everyone else.”
In a few pages Waugh also writes about his association with Udayan, a home for leper’s children near Calcutta.
“In many ways, getting involved with the Udayan concept changed my attitude to life. I sincerely believe that one has an obligation to help people who are less fortunate than us. There’s only so much money that you can use and need. Why not help other people',” asks Waugh, a patron of the home since 1998. He also sponsors nine-year-old girl Lakhi Kumari.
Waugh also details how Indian scribes changed him to a person who measures his words while speaking to the Press.
“India is a good one-day team. But I don’t think they are among the favourites as they might struggle on the bouncy wickets in South Africa. But the World Cup is still a long way away any one of half a dozen sides can win it including India,” I had said when asked about India’s chances.
“The next day’s headlines in the national papers ‘India not hot for the cup: Steve’ indeed surprised me and subsequently made me carefully word my answers.”
Wiser, he handled another tricky question ‘What gives you more pleasure — winning a Test against India or charity work'’
“Both. Winning a Test match is difficult, satisfying and enjoyable, sometimes glorious, but seeing the kids at Udayan happy and growing under the care of people who have put in so much hard work is immensely satisfying.”
The veteran playing his 19th year in international cricket after making his debut against India in 1985 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) also shares a few nuggets of cricketing wisdom in the book.
“Just like life, there are no guarantees in cricket. Cricket is about opportunities and making the best of them. You can only lead a player to a certain point, something coaching clinics are very good at, but thereafter he has to back himself.” (PTI)