Steve Waugh joins Hall of Fame
Steve Waugh will become the youngest man in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame when he is inducted on Tuesday, less than a month after he passed the minimum requirement of being out of the game for five years. At the MCG on Monday, Waugh was announced as the 30th member of the body and said it was fitting to speak of the honour at the place where he played his first Test in 1985-86.
"It's nice to be here at the MCG," Waugh said. "That's where it started 20-odd years ago. Walking out to bat for that first time, I was just happy to play one Test. To be here today to be inducted in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame is quite amazing when I look back on it."
Waugh, 43, went on to play a world-record 168 Tests - a mark that still stands - and he is fourth on the Test run tally with 10,927. Waugh is also the most successful Test captain of all men who led their side in at least 20 matches, with a winning ratio of 71.92% from his 57 Tests in charge from 1999 to 2004.
The success later in Waugh's career was a significant change from when he first appeared in the Australian side at the age of 20. At that time, the team was struggling in the years following the retirements of key players and also lost members who were suspended due to the rebel tours of South Africa.
"I feel fortunate I've played in a couple of different eras," Waugh said. "One where we're rebuilding the side in the mid-80s and I guess we took over as the dominant side after we beat the Windies in '95. I was lucky that I was part of two very different eras, I learnt a lot of lessons along the way.
"What I used to judge myself on was coming back from adversity. That's what most players really pride themselves on. It's not so much the good times - you're going to have some of those and it's quite easy to do things well when things are going smoothly - but when there's a few spanners in the works, they're the real times when you test yourself."
Waugh, whose final Test was in January 2004, will join one of his team-mates from the same era, Ian Healy, in the Hall of Fame after the wicketkeeper was inducted last year. Players are selected for their status as "sporting legends" as well as their outstanding records.
Waugh will officially receive the honour at the Allan Border Medal presentation in Melbourne on Tuesday. Favourites for the award, which Waugh won in 2001, include Mitchell Johnson, Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting.
Australian Cricket Hall of Fame
Fred Spofforth, Jack Blackham, Victor Trumper, Clarrie Grimmett, Bill Ponsford, Sir Donald Bradman, Bill O'Reilly, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall, Dennis Lillee
Warwick Armstrong, Neil Harvey, Allan Border
Bill Woodfull, Arthur Morris
Stan McCabe, Greg Chappell
Lindsay Hassett, Ian Chappell
Hugh Trumble, Alan Davidson
Clem Hill, Rod Marsh
Monty Noble, Bob Simpson
Charles Macartney, Richie Benaud
George Giffen, Ian Healy
Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo