Australian media 'disappointing' December 8, 2003

Waugh goes on the counterattack

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Steve Waugh: hungry for applause?
© Getty Images

Steve Waugh has admitted that he is furious at the way he has been portrayed as a "criminal" by the media for his part in the run-out of Damien Martyn during the first Test against India at the Gabba. Waugh slammed his critics for "personal attacks" but also confessed he was rushed in his preparation for his innings which was disastrous from an Australian viewpoint.

He said "too much" was made of the run-out mix-up with Martyn, who sacrificed his wicket - an act Waugh acknowledged as "fantastic". "The next day I felt I'd committed some sort of criminal offence," Waugh said. "I thought it was personal what was written. It was a mistake by both of us, we're both to blame for that run-out yet some of the innuendo I read next day was very disappointing."

Waugh was also criticised for taking some of the limelight away from Justin Langer as he raced out to bat when Langer fell for 121. He said, "Justin had scored his hundred the night before, he'd only scored another 10 runs the next day. That's the way I always play, I always get out there pretty quickly. Certainly there was no disrespect - that's ridiculous to say that."

Waugh added the controversy over his retirement tour, which has been described as destabilising for the team, was completely unfair. He was also blamed for the gimmicky "red rag" campaign started by a Sydney newspaper. "I think I got blamed for the red rags and that my retirement announcement destabilised the team - let's get fair dinkum about this, let's be realistic."

Waugh did admit the emotion associated with playing his final Tests in Australia had affected his preparation. "If I could turn back time I'd probably change my preparation - it was a little bit rushed."