Waugh call to drop Warne in ’99 was wrong: Taylor


“For the final Test match, Steve went with MacGill and left Warne out. That certainly irked Shane Warne at the time and I don’t think he’s ever forgiven him.”

Australia won the Test to tie the series and retain the Frank Worrall Trophy they had gone to such pains to win back four years previously. MacGill took five wickets.

But Taylor said Waugh, in his first series as captain since taking over from Taylor, had made the right call.

“At the time, no [it wasn’t the right call]. I didn’t think it was,” Taylor said.

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“I felt that if you had to make a decision between the two leggies, which I think Australia had to do at that stage because Lara was playing so well, I’d have gone with the guy that’s been great for so long, even though he wasn’t at his best.

“In a must-win game, I would have gone with Shane Warne.”

Waugh has defended his 1999 captaincy several times. “I had to make a decision, as a captain and a leader” he told the ABC in 2018. “I didn’t want to make that decision but I did it for the benefit of the team.”

And he weighed in to the discussion around the bad blood between he and Warne when he spoke to The Age last week.

“People keep saying it’s a feud,” he said. “But to me, a feud’s between two people. I’ve never bought into it, so it’s just one person.

“His comments are a reflection of himself, nothing to do with me.

“That’s all I’d say.”

Meanwhile, Taylor said he hoped this week would bring a final decision on cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup, suggesting if the Indian Premier League claimed that spot on the calendar then Australians would be cleared to take part.

The International Cricket Council’s board meets on May 28 to discuss a host of COVID-19 dilemmas, including a revamped schedule and the fate of the men’s Twenty20 World Cup.

Cricket Australia chief executive Kevin Roberts has flagged that a call on the tournament, which is slated to run from October 18 until November 15 in Australia, may potentially not come until August.

However players and administrators around the world are keen for some certainty and many expect the 16-team event will soon be postponed.

“My feeling is the World T20 won’t go ahead in Australia in October as planned,” Taylor said.

“Is it going to be viable to have a world tournament in October or November? The answer to that is probably no.”

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is eyeing the window set aside for the World Cup with interest, having indefinitely postponed its $A820 million domestic T20 league.

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CA would ordinarily refuse to release players for a Twenty20 league that clashes with Australia’s home summer, but these are not normal times and a stack of superstars could bypass the start of the Sheffield Shield season to play in the IPL.

“The Cricket Australia board will want to keep India happy. So they may want to let the players go to India if the IPL goes ahead,” Taylor said.

“Because they want India to come here this summer and play, which will be our biggest summer in terms of dollars.

“That’s the sort of discussion going on. No doubt.”

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