Steve Waugh's dumping Warne from 1999 Test formed 'never-healing' rift between them

Melbourne, Aug 10 (ANI): Former Australian cricket great Steve Waugh has revealed that his decision to drop spin legend Shane Warne from the Test team for 1999 West Indies series in the Caribbean has created a distance between them that has never healed.

According to the Herald Sun, Waugh had spoken candidly in his new book 'The Meaning Of Luck' about the lingering fallout of the decision to drop Warne from that fateful series, in which Australia won the first Test of that tour and lost the next two.

However, Waugh refused to regret the decision, believing that even though he lost a 'great friend' in Warne, his quantum call, made with fellow tour selector Geoff Marsh, gave him fortitude and taught him that knowing what is right and acting on it are two different things.

According to Waugh, he hoped that Warne came to terms with the fact that the 'common-sense' decision was based on facts and 'gut instinct', key ingredients which every leader must trust and rely on, and was not about him not trusting Warne's skill and innate love for the big occasion.

The report also suggested that the tone of Waugh's words reveals that the two superstars, who shared an Australian dressing room for more than a decade, have never reconciled the issue, with Waugh saying that Warne was surprised and wounded by the decision, as he did not expect it at all.

Stating that the decision was a 'massive call', Waugh however, defended his decision, saying that it was right of him to rest Warne from the Test as he was not bowling up to his normal standards given that he had just come back from having a shoulder surgery on that tour.

Waugh also said that he felt that by dropping Warne, he was almost doing his teammate a favour by not exposing him when he was not at his best, adding that as Australia was 2-1 down in his first series as a captain so it was a defining moment for the team and for his captaincy.

Although Waugh admitted that the decision must have felt like betrayal of trust from Warne's point of view, this was proven to be merely one pothole in his journey along the highway over the course of his career, adding that a leader must stand for something or fall for everything. (ANI)