Opener blames Steve Waugh for Test dismissal July 31, 2005

Slater hits out in autobiography

Cricinfo staff

Michael Slater: bitter about his retirement © Getty Images

Michael Slater, the former Australian opener, has used his autobiography to express his anger at being dropped from the Test team, and said Steve Waugh, the captain at the time, was responsible for the end of his career.

In his autobiography Slats - The Michael Slater Story, Slater writes that he knew he was in danger of being dropped when he was asked to Waugh's room before the last Ashes Test in 2001. He quotes Waugh as saying that he [Slater] was disorganised and a threat to team harmony. According to The Age, Slater mentions that Waugh also accused him of showing more interest in commentary. Only later did Waugh reveal the real reason behind Slater's sacking - the problems in his marriage that eventually ended in a divorce.

Slater was furious that Waugh offered no reason when he informed the rest of the team of Slater's omission. He felt that the team ought to know the real reason behind his sacking. At this juncture, Adam Gilchrist asked Slater to keep quiet, saying his behaviour was not in the best interests of the team as they were preparing for a Test .

Gilchrist's reaction shocked Slater into silence and he left as he was too upset to complete the training session that was underway. Slater mentions that Matthew Hayden and Shane Warne offered him consolation. Admitting that while Waugh's mental toughness was incomparable, Slater said that he, and others, often felt uncomfortable in Waugh's presence.