Monday, 5 April 2010

Backyard T20 with Steve Waugh

A terrific interview with Steve Waugh at Cricinfo today, in which the great man reveals he's created a version of T20 to play in the back yard with his son Austin, 10.

'The way we play is, I bowl 20 balls to him. He gets as many runs as he can. He tallies his score up and then I get my 20 balls... It's full on, there's no charity for him...'

Nope, there isn't... In a recent match exclusively seen by the Batsman, young Austin went first to the immaculate backyard pitch in the Sydney suburbs. As he walked out to face his opening delivery, the familiar voice of Australia's most implacable and flinty captain was heard: 'Here he comes boys', it went. 'He's got the big name but has he got the game...?'

Austin did well to post a score of 25, and waited patiently between innings as his father delayed his entrance as he was preparing to 'bat for the Baggy Green' and also because he 'wanted the light to be like that evening at the SCG'.

Eventually he came out, waving a red rag to check the wind, and made steady progress until he twanged a calf taking a quick single while Austin tried to find the ball in a flower bed. Austin offered to 'call the game a draw if you like, dad', whereupon Waugh fixed him with a stare and asked his son 'if he wanted to go inside so that they could get someone tough out here...'

Ultimately Waugh's wife, and Austin's mother, Lynette was summoned from the kitchen to act as a runner, her protestations that the dinner was almost ready dismissed with a curt 'just get your head down and leave it to Tugga'. 

Shortly afterwards Austin spilled a caught and bowled chance, and appeared tearful as his father grunted, 'you just dropped the World Cup, son' out of the side of his mouth.

Australia's former captain approached Austin's total rapidly, but waited until the penultimate ball to cover drive the winning runs, holding the pose for a second before walking off with bat raised.

Lynette then attempted to serve dinner, but was told firmly that the meal wouldn't be happening 'until Pigeon arrived to sing the team song'.

Austin, 10, got to bed around 12pm, but was kept awake by several raucous renditions of 'Beneath The Southern Cross' emanating from the kitchen. Before falling asleep he said that he 'prefers it when Uncle Mark comes round because he just scores a quick 70-odd, knocks me up an easy catch and then goes and sits inside to watch the racing'. 



8 comments:

Dean @ Cricket Betting Blog said...

It's amazing what reasons 'Pigeon' will find to go round to Waugh's house.

Didn't he once go round to (try to) hose off an approaching bush fire while Waugh was away touring, and McGrath was at home recovering from an injury?

Maybe I'm going mad, but I do think that I heard that happened a few years ago.

Just goes to show the respect he held, and the lengths that his mates would go to for him.

Uncle Mark would also probably be ringing up his Indian bookie while watching the racing, I do believe.

To place a bet, obviously.

Brit said...

I can see it now...

nestaquin said...

Wonderful stuff and not too dissimilar to matches I play with my lad although the fierce sledging usually comes from his Mum sipping tea on the back verandah!

The Old Batsman said...

Dean - he did! Nesta, tell his mum to keep up the good work...

Brit - I love that. I sometimes use the phrase 'four more of her majesty's runs' whilst batting. Not out loud though...

Play angry Birds said...

Great player ..Steve waugh..

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oh I just read the awesome interview with Steve Waugh and I gotta say that it was a rather interesting and profound interview

Music Event Company said...

Great Ambassador of cricket..

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