Former Australia captain Steve Waugh on Thursday hit back at Shane Warne after the legendary spinner reignited a long-running feud between the two by calling him a selfish cricketer.
In his reply Waugh said he was just doing his job as a captain when he dropped the leg-spinner in 1999 for a Test in the West Indies.
Earlier this week, Warne blasted Waugh as “the most selfish cricketer I have played with”. The grudge was related to Waugh’s decision of dropping Warne from the playing XI for the final Test on a tour of the West Indies 17 years ago.
It sparked a backlash against the legendary leg-spinner on the social media with Waugh issuing a short statement the next day that read, “I’m not justifying his comments with an answer.”
But today, he opened up, explaining that the decision to drop Warne was tough but part of his job as the captain.
“To be fair, not only Shane, any player I had to tell was dropped wasn’t easy,” Waugh was quoted as saying by Triple M commercial radio.
“It wasn’t easy telling Adam Dale he was dropped for a Test match or Greg Blewett. There were a number of players I had to tell they weren’t playing,” he said.
“As a captain, that is the hardest thing to do. But it’s also why you’re the captain, because people expect you to make the tough decisions for the benefit of the team,” Waugh added.
“You have got to do that at times and you have got to be prepared not to be liked by everyone.”