Player: Australia (1985-2004)
Steve Waugh led Australia in a period of total dominance in the modern era, retiring as the game's most capped player successful captain.
After making his first class debut for New South Wales in the 1984-85 season, Waugh began a Test career that would span over 18 years in the Boxing Day Test of 1985 against India. He made a name for himself in one day cricket when his tight bowling in the final overs in the 1987 World Cup won Australia several matches.
Twelve years later it was his fearless batting in two knock-out matches against South Africa that dragged Australia through to the final, and ultimate triumph, in the 1999 World Cup.
Waugh’s maiden Test century, against England at Headingley in 1989 opened the floodgates, and he finished the series with 506 runs at an average in excess of 125. He would score 32 centuries in total, and is the only player to have scored 150s against every Test playing nation.
It was his 231-run partnership with his twin brother Mark against West Indies in the final Test of the 1995 series in Jamaica that finally secured Australia’s place as the dominant cricketing nation.
Waugh led Australia in a period of total dominance in the modern era
Waugh took over the Australian one-day captaincy from Mark Taylor in the 1997-98 season and assumed the Test captaincy a year later. Of his 57 Tests at the helm, Australia won 41 and lost just nine, including a record 16 consecutive victories.In his final Ashes test in January 2003, at his home ground the SCG, Waugh scored a century from the final ball on the second day to a tumultuous ovation, and a
year later a record fifth day crowd turned out to watch his final innings, against India, where he made his highest fourth innings score of 80.
Fiercely proud of his country, with a strong sense of history, Waugh was instrumental in taking the 2001 Australian side to Gallipoli en route to England. The same year he won MCC’s Spirit of Cricket Award.
During his career Waugh was a prolific tour diary writer and photographed many of the countries he toured. He developed a particular affinity for India and established, and is the patron of, the Udayan Children’s Home for children affected by leprosy in Calcutta.
His charity work in Australia includes the establishment of the Steve Waugh Foundation, which provides financial aid for the identification, treatment and cure of rare diseases amongst young Australians. It particularly focuses on sick, disabled, neglected and abused children, street children and youths from educationally, economically or emotionally disadvantaged situations.
In 2003 Waugh was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia and in 2004 was named Australian of the Year – both in recognition of his work on and off the pitch. In 2010 he was formally inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame during the New Year’s Test at his home ground, the SCG.
He is Chairman of the WCC's anti-corruption working party and in 2011 undertook a polygraph lie-detector test as part of its ongoing research.