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Shane Warne lashes at 'selfish' Steve Waugh

Shane Warne has reopened the rivalry book with Steve Waugh

Bengaluru, October 1: Legendary Australian spinner Shane Warne cut open some old wounds when he termed former captain Steve Waugh as the "selfish player I ever played with, and was only worried about averaging 50."

In his autobiography - No Spin - Warne wrote about the series of incidents during the 1999 tour to the West Indies where the leggie was dropped for the fourth Test at Antigua.

"He (Waugh) became a completely different person when he took over as captain," Warne wrote.

"It wasn't that he dropped me. I have no issue about being dropped if I'm not performing; if you don't perform, out you go. But there was more to it than my performances - I think it was jealousy. He started to niggle away, telling me to look at my diet and spend more time on deciding what sort of person I wanted to be in my life, how to conduct myself - that sort of stuff. I said, 'Mate - worry about yourself," Warne elaborated.

Writing on the selection meeting before the fourth and final Test, Warne said: "I was the vice-captain and bowling pretty ordinary and Tugga (Waugh) opened the selection meeting between the two of us and Geoff Marsh, the coach, by saying, 'Warney, I don't think you should play this next Test.'

"Silence. 'Er, right,' I said. 'Why?' 'I don't think you're bowling very well, mate.' 'Yes... fair call,' I admitted. 'My shoulder is taking longer than I thought but it's close now. The feel is slowly coming back and then the rhythm will come, mate. I'm not worried.'"

Marsh and Allan Border, the selector who was on tour then, backed Warne to play but Waugh remained adamant in his decision, saying: "No, I appreciate your thoughts, AB, but Warney's not playing. I'm going with my gut here. Sorry, guys."

Warne did not play the Test which Australia won. "Disappointed is not a strong enough word," Warne wrote. "When the crunch came Tugga didn't support me, and I felt so totally let down by someone who I had supported big time and was also a good friend. I conducted myself badly, to be honest. I wasn't that supportive of the team, which I regret.

"Looking back, this was probably a combination of the shoulder issue still eating away at me and the pure anger bubbling inside at Steve's lack of trust. During the first three Tests, at various times some of the bowlers came to me, grumbling about Tugga's captaincy and field placements and stuff. I said I was backing him to the hilt and if they had a problem with the captain they should go see him direct. Perhaps because of this, I was deeply disappointed that he didn't back me in return," he said.

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    Story first published: Monday, October 1, 2018, 15:56 [IST]
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