Steve Waugh has responded to some stinging criticism from Shane Warne.
Warnie recently labelled Waugh the ‘most selfish cricketer’ he’d ever played with, slamming the former skipper’s decision to drop him during a tour of the West Indies in 1999.
“I lost a bit of respect for him after that. I believe he should have backed me — as I always believe the art of captaincy is to support your players and back them every time,” Warne wrote in his new autobiography.
“This gains the respect from the players and makes them play for you. He didn’t, it’s history, but I never found it easy with him after that.”
He accused Waugh of being more focused on his average than the team’s result.
“Steve Waugh was the most selfish player I ever played with and was only worried about averaging 50,” he added.
“It was about a lack of loyalty. Pretty childish, I know, but that’s the way it was.”
Waugh has remained silent on the criticism, until now.
Speaking to ABC News Breakfast, Waugh defended his call.
“I had to make a decision as a captain and as a leader,” he said.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t want to make that decision but I did it for the benefit of the team.
“You’ve got to have loyalty to a certain degree but you can’t have blind loyalty. I guess that’s what Shane expected on that occasion.”
Warne has taken aim at Waugh a number of times since retirement, but Waugh says their relationship was always fine.
“I had to make a decision. I got on fine with Shane we had a great relationship,” he said.
“As a leader you’re put in a tough position sometimes but that’s why you’re a leader.”