In the past year, cricket has said 'cheerio' to two great players on the international scene.
For England, Alec Stewart played his last Test match in front of his home crowd at The Oval against South Africa.
He played in a total of 133 Test matches amassing 8463 runs at an average of 39.54 with 15 hundreds and 45 fifties. Not only was he a stalwart with the bat but also a solid man behind the stumps which enabled him to take 263 catches and make 14 stumpings. He also captained his country on 15 occasions with the last being in 2001 vs Pakistan. Stewart always had a smile on his face and will be remembered as a good-natured man as well as an excellent cricketer.
For Australia, Steve 'Tugger' Waugh, the one of the two cricketing brothers to grace the international stage.
In a career spanning 18 years, Waugh took part in 168 Test matches all across the globe accumalating 10,927 runs at an average of 51.06 with a total of 32 centuries and 50 fifties. Waugh also decide to bow out of Test cricket in front of his home crowd in Sydney against India. While Stewart had his 'keeping to keep him going, Waugh will probably always be remembered as the captain of what is arguably THE best Test team ever and definitely the best in recent times (the authors recent times!!). Under his leadership in 57 Test matches, Australia won an incredible 41 of these games. One of Waugh's best features was his grit and determination which set him apart from other batsman, he priced his wicket too highly to give it away and that's the key to the player. Always determined to do his best and his best was always good enough.
Now, the key question to this thread is, now that these two players have left their respective sides, which out of England and Australia will miss Alec Stewart and Steve Waugh respectively the most?
England have lost their most experienced player, a good wicketkeeper and an excellent batsman.
Australia have lost their most experienced player, an excellent batsman and very good captain.
I will post my opinions later because the screen is beginning to wobble now.