Happy Birthday Mark and Steve Waugh: The Australian cricketing brothers reach 53 not out
Cricket’s most successful and popular twins were born this day 53 years ago. Steve Waugh and Mark Waugh, who played international cricket together for Australia for more than a decade, were born at Canterbury Hospital in Campsie -- a suburb in South-Western Sydney – on June 2, 1965.
Steve, who is regarded as one of the greatest captains of all-time, entered international cricket first, making his debut against India at the MCG in 1985. He was then included in the national ODI team a year later.
Steve shot to limelight first during the 1987 ODI World Cup in the Indian subcontinent where his ability to send down crucial death overs without conceding too many runs earned him the tag of ‘Iceman’. Australia went on to win the World Cup, defeating arch-rivals England by seven runs in the final.
A string of poor performances in the subsequent Test matches led to the ouster of Steve from the Australian team during the 1991 Ashes series. Replacing him in the playing XI was none other than his twin brother, Mark, who scored a hundred on his debut against England in Adelaide.
Steve, who is nicknamed Tugga, returned to the national side during the tour of the Caribbean where he played a Test match together with his brother for the first time in Trinidad. This made the duo first twins in the annals of cricket to play a Test match together.
In the same part of the world during the tour of 1994-95, the twins had one of their finest moments of cricketing success when they scored hundreds to help Australia beat the West Indies in the fourth and final Test in Jamaica to achieve a memorable series win. While Steve scored 200, Mark played a knock of 126.
Over the years, the twins went on to fashion a number of memorable victories together and played a key role in helping Australia become a dominating side during the 90s.
The twins had a fair amount of success in limited-overs too where Mark made a name for himself as an elegant opener while Steve carved a niche for himself in the middle order as a gritty batsman. Their finest moment of ODI career came during the 1999 World Cup in England when under the captaincy of Steve Waugh; Australia lifted their second World Cup title defeating Pakistan in the final. Mark was a key member of the side.
Mark finished his international career with 8029 runs from 128 Tests at an average of 41.81 while in ODIs he recorded 8500 runs from 244 matches at an average of 39.35.
Steve bowed out of cricket with 10,927 runs from 168 Tests at an average of 51.06. In ODIs, he finished with 7569 runs from 325 ODIs with an average of 32.90.
More than a decade has passed since Waugh brothers were seen playing for Australia last, but they continue to rule the hearts of cricket lovers.