Mark Waugh


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Mark Waugh

Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1991
Mark Waugh was a key figure in the powerful batting line-up of the Australian Test cricket team from 1991 to 2002, along with his twin brother, Steve Waugh. He was also a mainstay in the Australian ODI team, starting out as an all-rounder but he later progressed to opening the batting, where he excelled and became Australia's leading one day runscorer. Mark was one of the most elegant and gifted strokemakers to ever play the game. He was a handy medium pace, who changed to an off-spin bowler after back injuries caught up, he is regarded as one of the best slips fielders ever to play cricket, and holds the world record for most Test catches by a non-wicketkeeper. He is well-known for his general mastery of batting when facing spin bowling.
Mark Waugh made his first class debut for New South Wales in the series of 1985/86. He made his name as an all-rounder at state level, but was overlooked for the Australian team early in his career in favour of his twin brother. In the late 1980s, the call for Mark to be selected for higher honours grew louder and he was named the Sheffield Shield player of the year twice, with an outstanding batting average of well over 50. He finally made his Test match debut for Australia against England in the fourth match of the series of 1990/91 at the Adelaide Oval. Ironically, his selection for this game was at the expense of his twin brother Steve, who had been a fixture in the side for years, but was suffering from a lack of form. Waugh marked his debut in style, scoring 138 in his first innings. Throughout the early years of his career, Mark was haunted by accusations that he was a "lazy" batsman, too apt to throw his wicket away. The "lazy" tag followed him for his whole career, despite many gritty, defiant innings that suggested otherwise. This perceived laziness was emphasized when compared to his twin brother Steve, a player renowned for his grit and determination, and his reputation of being one of the toughest batsmen to dismiss in world cricket. Over the next 11 years, Mark experienced the ups and downs of international cricket, his lowest moments being a run of four consecutive ducks against Sri Lanka in 1992/93 and the controversy of his being fined for accepting money from a bookmaker for pitch and weather information in 1994, that was made public four years later in 1998. Just a few of the many highlights of his international career were his 126 in the West Indies in 1995 to seal the Frank Worrell Trophy, scoring three centuries in the One Day International World Cup of 1996, and his highest Test score of 153 not out, scored in India in 1998, remarkable because he was suffering from nausea, diarrhoea and vomiting spells whilst batting.
Mark Waugh retired from international cricket in 2002 after being dropped for the upcoming Test series against England. He retired as the world record holder for most Test catches, with 181. He had scored 8029 Test runs at an average of 41.81 and taken 59 Test wickets at an average of 41.16. In the one-day arena, he compiled 8500 runs at an average of 39.35 and took 85 wickets at an average of 34.56. He once famously lofted a ball bowled by left-arm finger spinner Daniel Vettori well into the stands, having historians searching for a bigger hit. He has been known for making comments against spinners. He called English spinner Phil Tufnell a "pretty weak fellow" and described his famous dismissal on 99 during the 1993 Lord's Test by Tufnell as "terrible bowling" and "a very negative piece of cricket". He retired from international cricket on October 28, 2002. His retirement was sparked by being dropped from the Australian Test Team for the Ashes series of 2002-03. He is the twin brother of Steve Waugh. He was married for the first time on April 9, 2005 to harness racing driver and trainer Kim Moore. Mark Waugh was Australia's highest run-scorer in One Day International cricket, after breaking Allan Border's record in 1999, until it was broken in December 2005 by Ricky Ponting. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest One Day International openers of all time, having averaged over 45 in that position.

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.