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Since 1st March, 1999
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The urge to help tsunami victims came from within and came quickly: Steve
- Aussie icon is back in Calcutta, for charity and business, this time on a private jet

Calcutta: Steve Waugh has been jetting around in a private aircraft, but is somewhat uncomfortable when addressed as a tycoon-in-the-making.

'Look, I've just been a passenger' I don't own the plane,' he quipped during an interaction with The Telegraph shortly after landing here on Wednesday night.

Steve, whose last trip to Calcutta was eight months ago, has arrived with omnipresent manager Robert Joske and 'two powerful men' from the banking industry back in Australia: William Moss and Tony Fehon, both from Macquarie Bank Ltd.

Expectedly, there's the noble-cause touch to this visit, too, but Steve and his entourage are largely exploring 'investment opportunities.'

They left Sydney exactly a week ago and have come here after stops in glitzy Dubai, cash-rich Mumbai and IT hub Bangalore.

'Obviously, this is something new' It's different and, so, I'm learning a few things' Basically, we're looking to invest in the region and, believe me, it has been an extremely busy week,' Steve informed.

The former Australian captain's appointment No. 1, on Thursday morning, is with AusTrade.

That the iconic Steve will be coming on a business trip was reported in these columns on January 10. He is, of course, extending his association with charitable causes.

Specifically, Steve is going to be the star attraction at a tsunami fund-raiser put together by the Calcutta Foundation and a new NGO (Together, We Will) on Thursday night.

The fund-raiser, at a premier hotel, will be preceded by Steve sharing his thoughts (there itself) on 'Leadership Lessons: Cricket and the Corporate World'.

'Please don't call it a lecture or a talk' Rather, say I'm going to initiate a chat' Be it in the corporate world or cricket, the basics or the principles ' vision, hard work, the ability to communicate properly and looking after the interests of those you work with ' don't change,' Steve pointed out.

He added, laughing: 'I'm still in the process of writing down my thoughts, though'

Significantly, while Steve has featured in such 'chats' at home, he hasn't addressed an audience on that theme anywhere out of Australia.

Given his attachment to Calcutta, it's only fitting he has chosen the city for his international 'debut'.

Speaking about yet another tsunami-driven effort, which is hours away, Steve said: 'I'm not surprised that sportspersons across disciplines have raised their hand for a noble cause' The urge to help victims came from within and came quickly'

Asked whether (like Muttiah Muralidharan) he feared that every dollar/rupee of the billions being raised may not actually reach the most needy, he replied: 'I can talk of the projects I'm involved with and the integrity of those I'm working with ' the Shamlu Dudejas ' is beyond question'

Steve, by the way, emphasised that 'no matter' where the future takes him, charitable causes will 'always' be dear.

'I'm into this for good' Udayan, my own foundation' It's not that I won't have time for anything that's noble' Charitable causes, after all, have become a part of my life,' he reminded.

Footnote: Captain Graeme Smith has been pitching for him as the next coach of South Africa, but Steve himself hasn't heard anything. 'Nobody has approached me,' he commented, grinning. Moreover, he has consistently maintained preferring to act as a 'mentor.' Last month, however, Steve did coach the ICC XI which thrashed Asia in the tsunami fund-raiser at the MCG.

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