Former captain Mark Taylor has weighed in on the bitter relationship between Shane Warne and Steve Waugh after they again traded barbs.
Warne and Waugh haven’t seen eye-to-eye for a number of years, and Warnie poured fuel on the fire last weekend.
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The spin king re-iterated his beliefs that Waugh was the ‘most selfish’ player he’d ever played with after a video compilation went viral showing all of the 104 runouts Waugh was involved in during his international career.
But Waugh, nicknamed the ‘ice man’ throughout his storied cricket career, hit back claiming it was a one-way disagreement.
“But to me, a feud’s between two people. I’ve never bought into it, so it’s just one person,” he said.
“His comments are a reflection of himself, nothing to do with me. That’s all I’d say.”
Now Taylor, a teammate and captain to both legends, has opened up on the decision that kick-started the spin king’s bitterness towards Waugh.
Warne has already admitted in his autobiography that Waugh’s decision as captain to drop him from the deciding test against the West Indies in the 1999 tour was hard to overcome.
Despite Australia going on to win the final test and the series 2-1, Warne wished Waugh has shown some loyalty.
“They’re not best mates, there’s no doubt about that. But when they played together … they were fine,” Taylor told Channel 9’s Sports Sunday.
“Steve had to make a decision for the last Test against the West Indies in 1999 between his two leg spinners … Warnie was coming back from a shoulder injury and not bowling at his best.
“For the final Test match, Steve went with [Stuart] MacGill and left Warne out, and that certainly irked Shane Warne at the time, and I don’t think he’s ever forgiven him.”
Taylor would have backed Warne
However, Taylor admits he doesn’t think Waugh made the right decision when it came down to the final match.
“If you had to make a decision between the two leggies, which I think Australia had to do at that stage because Lara was playing so well, I’d have gone for the guy who’s been great for so long, even though he wasn’t at his best,” he said.
“Must-win game, I would’ve gone with Shane Warne.”
Warne and Waugh’s ugly feud
Warne first labelled Waugh ‘selfish’ in his 2018 autobiography, holding onto a grudge about being dropped by his former captain during a tour of the West Indies in 1999.
“Disappointed is not a strong enough word. 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,” Warne said.
“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.”