'I've always enjoyed photography'

Beyond cricket

'I've always enjoyed photography'

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh’s achievements on the field are there for all to see. Equally important are his endeavours outside the pitch.

Steve is here in the city with the Australian cricket team to watch the ongoing Test match between India and Australia. He is also here to promote his latest initiative Waugh Global, a real estate venture. In an interview with Nina C George, he takes time off to recall his association with cricket and what keeps him on his toes.

How are you associated with the current Australian team?

I am not associated with them in any official capacity but I am in regular contact with all the players through messages and meet them in person as well. I am always there for them, especially when they have bad days, when they’ve not done well or when they require my help. I am here to cheer for them.

Who are your close friends in the Indian cricketing world?

I have quite a few good friends here and Rahul Dravid is one of them. He’s a genuine person, so it’s always nice to catch up with him. Saurav Ganguly is another dear friend. He and I may have had differences when we played but we are both passionate about the sport and playing for our respective countries. We have a lot in common.

How do you take forward your interest in cricket and philanthropy?

I have a few ongoing philanthropic projects in Kolkata and Mumbai. But a lot of my time is spent at The Steve Waugh Foundation in Australia, which looks after children with rare diseases and rare illnesses. I spent almost 20 or 30 hours a week there. But I think my wife puts in more time there than I do.

What is Waugh Global about?

Waugh Global provides opportunities for Indians to invest and enter into a partnership with HomeUnion, an online real estate firm providing all of the services investors need to buy, sell and manage real estate.

On turning a businessman…

Cricket and business are two different things. But when I decide to do something new, I believe in putting extra time and effort for that. I’ve always thought that I’ve had an entrepreneurial streak in me even when I was playing cricket. I have to learn the intricacies of doing business from scratch but I am ready for the challenge.

We hear you are bringing out a book on photography?

I am presently working on my next book on photography. It will have pictures taken by me. It captures cricket scenes here in India. It will have pictures of children playing cricket in one of the slums in Mumbai and children playing cricket in the Himalayas. I’ve always enjoyed photography and taking pictures.

Have you had any bad fan experiences?

I can’t call it a bad experience. People here get extremely excited, especially when sportsmen are accessible. I think people in the rural areas go a bit overboard. Now, I also find that the players are more friendly and accessible to the people.

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