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Updated: March 28, 2010 17:04 IST

Simply Waugh

VIJAY LOKAPALLY
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STRAIGHT DRIVE Steve Waugh Photo: Sandeep Saxena
THE HINDU
STRAIGHT DRIVE Steve Waugh Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Steve Waugh is a staunch supporter of traditional cricket but, ironically, relies on the T20 format to launch 6UP, a mobile-based game, to raise funds for his charity. The game is aimed at supporting his charity organisation in Kolkata, Udayan.

Steve Waugh is a staunch supporter of traditional cricket but, ironically, relies on the T20 format to launch 6UP, a mobile-based game, to raise funds for his charity. The game is aimed at supporting his charity organisation in Kolkata, Udayan.

One of the modern greats of the game, Waugh asserts: “With the innovative technology product 6UP, cricket fans will enhance their knowledge of the game. 6UP allows fans to consider all match conditions prior to playing.”

A fan needs to send in a six-ball entry (predicting runs off every ball) to win cash prizes. “The entry, for example 102004, has to be sent from your mobile before the start of an over,” says Waugh. A perfect entry fetches you Rs. one lakh.

“It raises revenue for my charity. A percentage of it goes to my Foundation, and we use it for treatment of neglected people. It is a ground-breaking venture. You can't fix a game in 6UP. You can't influence a match in six balls. You can play this game only if you understand cricket.”

Coaching assignment

Having retired from cricket in 2004, Waugh, 44, has been engaged in charity work in India. And, he would not mind a coaching assignment in a country he calls his second home.

“No concrete offer has come my way, but I might consider if any comes my way. Nothing is set in stone as far as my involvement with cricket is concerned,” insists Waugh, who was a proud team member when Australia won the World Cup in 1987 and 1999, the last one under his captaincy.

The affable Waugh, who has had some legendary battles on the cricket field with the best of bowlers, enhanced his reputation as a tough nut in an eyeball to eyeball confrontation with Curtly Ambrose during a Test match.

How does he view Test cricket, especially the dwindling standards? “Well, we all know fielding standards have improved dramatically and batsmen are playing some astounding shots, such as over the keeper's head and the reverse sweep off pacers. But, the bowling has gone downhill. There are no quicks around and few spinners,” says the man who retired from Test cricket with an aggregate of 10,927 with 32 centuries in 168 matches.

Waugh, one of Australia's most successful captains ever, agrees that too many players are being labelled greats for too little achievements. “I don't know what the modern definition of greatness is. To me, it is longevity and level of performance and excellence. A great is someone who influences the game, changes the way it is played, such as Gilly (Adam Gilchrist); he gave a new meaning to the term, keeper-batsman. A great should be able to motivate.”

The traditionalist in Waugh comes to the fore when he warns against too much T20 cricket being played these days. “If promoted rightly, T20 has the potential to make cricket a global sport. T20 is easy to understand and has a few pluses. Test cricket is about tradition and history. But, the administrators need to look at preserving Test cricket with some innovations. Day-night Test matches with coloured balls and clothing can be an option. We have to move with the times. There is a lot of money around and there is danger of it influencing the game. Have your T20 but not at the cost of Test cricket,” concludes the Aussie, who played 325 ODIs to make 7,569 runs and take 195 wickets.


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