In his new book, The Meaning of Luck, former Australian Test captain Steve Waugh has said he would have traded everything he had achieved on the cricket field to know his wife Lynette would get better.
Waugh was talking about how the news of his wife’s brain bleeding changed his life in an instant and left him most vulnerable he has ever felt in his life.
According to newspaper reports, Waugh described rushing home from a day's book signing in Victoria to be at his wife's side and said it was one of those things that he did not expect to happen.
The former player, who has been with Lynette since they were teenagers, expressed that “sitting alone in the back of the plane, as its sole passenger with the demons bouncing around in my head was the loneliest experience of my life.”
Waugh could not contain his tears when he arrived at the intensive care ward at the Sutherland Hospital and had never felt more vulnerable than when he saw his in-laws, the report added.
During a two-hour wait while Lynette was undergoing surgery, Waugh started to sob as Gavin Robertson comforted him by holding Waugh's head against his chest.
However, Waugh was happy with the fact that his wife was 98% cured and added that most stroke sufferers do pay a price, to varying degrees. He added how his wife now refers to the stroke as “her stroke of luck”.
Talking about his cricketing career, Waugh said his decision to drop spin legend Shane Warne from the Test team for 1999 West Indies series in the Caribbean had created a distance between them that has never healed.
Australia had won the first Test of that tour and lost the next two. However, Waugh said he did not regret the decision, believing that even though he lost a 'great friend' in Warne, his quantum call, made with fellow tour selector Geoff Marsh, gave him fortitude and taught him that knowing what is right and acting on it are two different things.
Waugh said he hoped Warne came to terms with the fact that the “common-sense” decision was based on facts and “gut instinct”, key ingredients which every leader must trust and rely on, and was not about him not trusting Warne's skill.
Waugh added that Warne was surprised and wounded by the decision, as he did not expect it at all.
Stating that the decision was a 'massive call', Waugh said it was right of him to rest Warne from the Test as he was not bowling up to his normal standards after coming back after a shoulder surgery.
Waugh also said that he felt that by dropping Warne, he was almost doing his teammate a favour by not exposing him when he was not at his best. Waugh summed it up as: a leader must stand for something or fall for everything.