The bestselling biography of Steve Waugh, updated to include the latest action and his controversial dropping as One-Day captain and batsman.
This is the story of how a battling fringe Test player reinvented himself as one of the greats in Australian cricket history by courage, skill and application. Steve Waugh was fast-tracked into the Test arena when Australia reached its lowest ebb in half a century. Not only was he under-prepared, he didn't find the atmosphere inviting. His captain, Allan Border, was frustrated in managing 'a bunch of losers', who were not as skilful or committed as the leader. But Border had faith in Waugh. He had a bit of 'mongrel' in him that was essential for sustained success at the top.
Waugh absorbed the shock and humiliation at being beaten by most teams, including New Zealand, in the mid-to-late 1980s. He just maintained his place as an all-rounder, who was not quite a Test standard batsman or bowler. But there were bright spots, including a win in the 1988 World Cup, in which Waugh, bowling at the 'death' in matches, earned the sobriquet, 'the ice-man' for his bowling under pressure.
In 1989, Steve Waugh came of age as a star Test batsman with dominant big innings against England during the 1989 Ashes. After that Waugh slumped and was dropped---to make way for his brother Mark. Yet Steve's experience in England demonstrated-most importantly to himself---that he had the ability at the highest level. After 18 months in the cricket wilderness he reclaimed his place and never lost it again. He designated himself a number six (later five) batsman who minimised risks and created big scores. Waugh overnight became a batsman who always worked within his self-imposed limitations, and who never ever sold his wicket cheaply. His batting average lifted from 37 for the first six years to more than 60 for the rest of his career.
In 1995 his grit and application came off as he peaked with a fine series and magnificent double century against the West Indies. His efforts did most to secure the series and so take the 'World's Best Test Team' title away from the Caribbean side for the first time seventeen years. For the next four years, Australia, with Waugh and his brother Mark the most prolific batsmen, and Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne the most effective bowlers, remained at the top of World Cricket.
Early in 1999, Waugh took over from Mark Taylor as Test captain. After a shaky start he maintained Australia at the top of Test cricket, led the country in a sensational World Cup campaign, and returned the biggest winning runs in history in both forms of the game.
Roland Perry, biographer of Sir Donald Bradman (The Don) and Shane Warne (Bold Warnie) delivers a compelling narrative that has drama and pace. The book explores the character, warts and all, of the person with the most high profile job in Australian sport.
This mass market edition has been updates to include all the drama from the summer of 2001-2002 and the triumphant Australian tour of South Africa, as well as the controversy surrounding the shocking announcement that Waugh wouls be dropped as both captain and player of the One-Day side.