Melbourne: Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne has launched an astonishing attack on his former captain Steve Waugh and labelled him “the most selfish cricketer that I’ve played with”. (Warne to Close Charitable Foundation)
Speaking while appearing on TV show ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’, Warne said there were many reasons he didn’t like Waugh, but highlighted one incident – his axing in the final Test against the West Indies in 1999 – as his main reason for contempt. (Tendulkar, Shane Warne Bat For Cricket to Make Olympic Comeback)
“There’s a lot of reasons I don’t like Steve Waugh, a lot of reasons … because he’s the most selfish cricketer I’ve played with, blah, blah, blah,” said Warne.
Warne spoke about the fateful incident that happened 17 years ago when he was axed from the final Test against the West Indies in 1999, with Australia trailing 1-2.
“One thing that really annoyed me about him was the one Test I got dropped, in West Indies. We we had to win the last Test match to win the trophy. At that stage, captain (Waugh), vice-captain (me), coach (Geoff Marsh) used to pick the team,” said the 46-year-old.
After three Tests of the four-match series, Warne had taken just two wickets and despite admitting that Waugh was justified in dropping him, the leg-spinner said he felt he was being made a scapegoat.
“We went to selection. I hadn’t bowled well, we’d lost – Brian Lara batted unreal – but I felt like I was being the scapegoat, because I didn’t bowl well it was my fault.
“Anyway, we get to selection table and I said, ‘OK, what’s everyone’s thoughts?’. Steve Waugh said, ‘You’re not playing’. I went, ‘What? Hang on. What do you think the team should be? Blah blah blah’, and Steve Waugh said ‘No, I’m the captain of this side, I’m the captain, you’re not playing’.
“I was really disappointed. After 10 years. I’d just had a shoulder op. I thought the situation where we had to win the Test match would have brought the best out of me too.”
Warne then added: “I don’t like Steve Waugh for a lot of other reasons.”
During that fateful Test in Antigua, Colin Miller had replaced Warne and Australia registered a 176-run win to draw the series 2-2.