| Steve Waugh at a city hotel on Wednesday. Picture by Santosh Ghosh
New Delhi: Steve Waugh’s maiden interaction with Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, three months ago, was to have been business-specific. The cricket crazy West Bengal chief minister, though, made it 50-50.
Come Friday, Steve will again be meeting Bhattacharjee and cricket is bound to feature on the agenda once more. Only, this time, the CM may focus on crisis-hit favourite Sourav Ganguly and not Indo-Pak cricket.
Steve, incidentally, believes captains have a shelf life. He said as much during a brief telephonic one-on-one with The Telegraph: “After a while, a captain has to reinvent himself... Has to allow fresh ideas... His hunger matters, but I suppose four-five years is enough...”
Sourav completed five with Team India in March; Steve was himself Australia’s Test captain for almost five years. His one-day innings was much longer.
Asked if he felt sorry for Sourav, who got hauled over the coals for a poor run against Pakistan, Steve replied: “Look, criticism goes with the territory... Brickbats and bouquets... Sourav has to cope.”
Steve, who is now aspiring to call the shots in the world of business, reached Calcutta on Wednesday afternoon and spent much of the remaining day interacting with real estate developers, financial groups and consultants.
He is accompanied by four key officials (Tony Fehon, Stephen Girdis, Sue Crafter and Nina Iraninejad) of Macquaire Bank. In February, that number was two.
Clearly, there’s a message in the delegation’s increased strength.
Apparently, real estate development in and around Calcutta is a strong option. Included is either a cricket or golf focused township. Predictably, a joint venture is being talked about.
The most capped Test cricketer’s first business-driven trip had taken him to Dubai, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and Calcutta. This time, Mumbai was stop No.1 and the capital is going to be his next and last.
Steve, of course, is never far away from a noble cause and he found time to briefly discuss the Nepalgunj project for the visually challenged girls with his Calcutta associates.
Udayan, however, will retain pride of place in his heart.