Steve Waugh’s in London today, and he was doing a book signing down Canary Wharf ( I think you might have missed it now though.) With all that, he’s been in demand with the press over there wanting his views on the various cricket issues of the day, and also with an eye ahead towards the Ashes.
He’s always worth a read, and he hasn’t lost his trademark aggression. Sometimes it is almost too much, as in this BBC story.
In their 2-1 defeat in England last year, Waugh said: “I thought from the sidelines perhaps they were a little bit too friendly.
“They were using England players’ nicknames in the press and that was something that hadn’t been done before.
“They may have become too familiar to England and lost a bit of mystique.”
“When I first played West Indies we didn’t know much about them, they kept pretty much to themselves and that gave you self doubts on the field,” he explained.
“As you get to know players more you become less intimidated by them.”
Waugh, who is currently in England promoting his autobiography, admitted England had followed the lead set by his teams in being aggressive on and off the field.
“There’s no doubt they followed the blueprint of what we were about. They were very positive in their media talk and pretty aggressive on the field,” he continued.
I actually liked that the two teams liked each other. Crusty old diehards like Waugh might fire up at the thought of bloodied combat unto death, etc, but I rather like the notion of two teams fighting hard and then having a beer together at the end of the day. As to the notion that doing so removes the mystique, the most sociable of Australians is The Great Man, Shane Warne, who drank pots of pints, and took pots of English wickets.
Just because you know and like the guy doesn’t mean you can play him any better.