Former Australian captain Steve Waugh’s love for photography is well-known. Last year he spent over 17 days in India, catching up with old friends and meeting new acquaintances along the journey.
He spent time on the Maidans in Mumbai, roamed the backstreets and alleyways from Kolkata to Jodhpur and countless places in between, and enjoyed the local roadside ‘gully cricket’ matches scattered randomly alongside the roads, fields and buildings.
He also covered a game of cricket in the desert to the foothills of the Himalayas to meet a team of cricketing monks.
He clicked more than thousands of photographs for his book-The Spirit of Cricket-India.
One of his photographs of children playing cricket among sand dunes near Osian, India won the first prize of Wisden’s Cricket Photograph of the Year award.
His image, found in Wisden 2021, was judged by an independent panel, led by former Sunday Times chief sports photographer, Chris Smith, and the award-winning cricket photographer, Patrick Eagar.
“I never imagined that one of my photographs would win such a prestigious award and I’m honoured that my image of kids playing cricket in the Ossian desert was chosen.
It was a huge thrill to be told the news and whilst it wasn’t quite the same as scoring a Test century it gave me enormous satisfaction and pride to accomplish something so significant”, Waugh, speaking exclusively, said.
“Photography has always been a passion for me and when combined with my love of cricket and my affinity to India the end result was a genuine and authentic look at why cricket is a religion in India.
I hope people see the spirit of cricket in this photo and why it means so much to the people of India”, he added.