Australia former skipper Steve Waugh is regarded as one of the best ever captains to lead his country. Waugh was known for his resistance and he had one of the shrewdest minds. The former right-hander was never known to throw in the towel and always challenged the opposition. However, there is one incident that happened in the formative years of his captaincy, which changed his leadership career for the good.
After helping Australia retain Frank Worrell trophy in 1999, Waugh’s next captaincy assignment was against Sri Lanka. However, a horrific accident took place when he and Jason Gillespie collided with each other while attempting a catch, which saw both the players in the hospital. Waugh had broken his nose whereas Gillespie had a broken leg.
Steve Waugh is one of the best ever captains
Multiple thoughts went through Waugh’s mind when he was recovering from the injury in the hospital. Waugh thought that his career could be over and he may not be able to play for Australia again, let alone captain.
Waugh noticed that his captaincy decisions were influenced after discussing the matter with a lot of other players. The former Australian skipper then decided that he is going to own up and he is going to take most of the decisions by himself to get the best out of the team.
“At 33 it still probably took me 6-12 months to realize my style. I was still probably leading by consensus a bit early on because I’d been mates with these guys (teammates) for a long period of time and all of a sudden I was the leader,” Waugh told Damian Barrett on a recent episode of the AFL journalist’s podcast In The Game.
“So having to separate me a little bit from the rest of the guys was a challenge. I finally realised that when I was in a hospital bed in Colombo with a broken nose and Jason Gillespie had a broken leg.
“I was sitting there in a hospital bed thinking, ‘If I never get to captain again, have I done myself justice? Had I done it my way?’ And the answer was, no I hadn’t. From that point on I said just trust my gut instinct and do it my way. And that was probably the turning point in my captaincy career.
Steve Waugh also led Australia to glory in the 1999 World Cup and he was always instrumental in the success of the team. Waugh was a tough nut to crack and had a never give up attitude. He led Australia in 57 Test matches in which the team won 41 whereas lost only nine matches and seven were drawn. He had an impressive win percent of 71.92.
Waugh also led in 106 ODI in which the team won 67 and lost 35 games.