Calcutta: The on-field rivalry between the Australia and England cricketers is arguably the fiercest among sportsmen anywhere, but gestures which break with 'tradition' are still made.
One, for example, was seen on Friday evening when the England colts presented Steve Waugh with Rs 21,000 ' the amount collected as fines during their about-to-end tour ' for Udayan.
The iconic Australian has been associated with that home for children of leprosy sufferers since mid 1998. He will personally hand the money over to Udayan, either on Saturday or Sunday.
'I've been touched and I'm sure the kids at Udayan are going to be thrilled,' Steve told The Telegraph, moments after receiving an envelope from the fines' committee chairman, Mark Lawson, at a city hotel.
Ironically, leggie Lawson will himself have to pay a fine before the colts leave for Siliguri (on Sunday): Unlike teammates, he turned up for the informal presentation in a non-England T-shirt!
According to Steve, the team management informed him of the colts' decision (of wanting to contribute for a 'noble cause') during his trip to the Eden earlier in the day.
The England colts, by the way, beat the hosts to stay alive in the limited overs series.
Fines, one understands, were slapped for (a) Missing the team bus; (b) Turning up late for breakfast; (c) Inappropriate clothing and (d) Stupid comments (in the dressing room or at team meetings).
The 'offender' wasn't identified, but one player even got fined under the 'stupid comment' category when he exclaimed 'gosh, it must have been a close game' after England and South Africa tied their February 2 ODI in Bloemfontein.
Overall, the biggest culprits have been allrounder Ben Harmison (younger brother of Steve) and wicketkeeper John Simpson. But, then, the fines have gone for a noble cause.
Meanwhile, Thursday night's tsunami fund-raiser featuring Steve has raised 'over Rs 30 lakh.'
That includes the auction-money and contributions from donors who reserved tables. Indeed, the Calcutta Foundation and Together, We Will have reason to be delighted.