Home > Features > Moments in history >

Steve and Mark Waugh become first twins to feature together in Tests

Steve and Mark Waugh become the first twins to feature together in Tests

Steve (left) and Mark Waugh on the eve of the 2001 Test against South Africa at the Adelaide Oval. The Test marked the 100th the twins played together © Getty Images

On April 5, 1991, Steve and Mark Waugh became the first male twins to appear together in Test cricket. While the former was already an established player, the latter fit in so effortlessly that he featured alongside his brother on 108 occasions. Karthik Parimal looks back at the cricketing bond between the two.

As seven-year-olds, the Waugh twins were busy barging their way into the playing elevens of various teams. They played their first representative match together, at Arncliffe Oval, for Bankstown in the Under-10 Foster Shield.  Batting at numbers 10 and 11, they couldn’t contribute substantially with the bat. But, according to Steve, they gave the team ‘two very enthusiastic fieldsmen who wanted every ball to come their way.’ It was during this game that Steve remembers playing a straight drive that sped to the fence past the bowler. It was this feeling of ‘dominance’ that he wanted to replicate time and again.

The reputation of the Waughs

In due course of time, the twins became the most sought-after players at the high-school level, as top and middle-order batsmen. According to Steve — the older of the twins by a few minutes — in his autobiography Out of My Comfort Zone, their school sports master on one occasion forgot to inform the duo about the Liverpool Region high-school cricket selection trials. Realising the predicament, the officials decided to restage the selections despite already having picked a squad. Both Steve and Mark Waugh made the cut, and although the former couldn’t help but feel for the two other discarded players, he was happy about his and Mark’s eventual selection.

At 13, the twins were chosen as two of 50 kids to take part in a week’s intensive coaching in the suburbs of Sydney, where they would receive mentoring and training sessions from some of the best established cricketers in the world.

As years passed they flew to England where they spent the off-season playing for Egerton in the Bolton League, earning a few pounds as overseas professionals. However, the opportunity to enter the international fray came knocking at the elder’s door first.

Entry into Test cricket

By the time Mark made his Test debut in the January of 1991, Steve had six years and 42 matches under his belt in the international circuit, in the longer format. It was an irony that one brother replaced the other for that game at the scenic Adelaide Oval; Steve was dropped owing to a string of poor scores. In fact, Mark got to know of his selection in the Test squad through his elder brother, who broke the news in the presence of the family. “Mum was in a state of simultaneous elation for Mark and distress for me, while my brother couldn’t fully show his joy at being chosen, even after such a long apprenticeship,” recollects Steve in his book.

Mark, though, showed his class on debut, in the 4th Ashes Test against England, scoring 138 against the likes of Devon Malcolm, Angus Fraser, Philip DeFreitas and Phil Tufnell. Apparently, after that innings, Mark walked up to skipper Allan Border and said, “I told you so. You should have picked me earlier!” That, from Steve’s point of view, best summed up Mark’s confidence in his own abilities.

However, it wasn’t long before both twins featured in the line-up.

First male twins to appear together in Tests

Two months post Mark’s debut, the Australians were to undertake a tough tour to the Caribbean and, it was during this series, the third Test of the Frank Worrell Trophy on April 5, 1991 at Trinidad, that Mark and Steve became the first twins to appear together in a Test match, [Elizabeth and Rosemary Signal had played Tests together in a 1984 women’s Test against England] after the latter was recalled into the side. “Becoming the first twins to play a Test together was a proud moment for Mark and me, though we both just wanted to get on with the game and bypass the sideshow that developed once the new line-up was announced. No doubt Mum and Dad back home were excited, doubly nervous and extremely proud at seeing their boys making it together,” writes Steve in his autobiography.

The Test, owing to persistent rains on the first two days, ended in a turgid draw, but it saw Mark score a laborious 64 against a formidable attack comprising Curtly Ambrose, Malcolm Marshall and Courtney Walsh. On the other hand, Steve made little impact in the third and fourth Tests and was duly dropped for the final game which Australia won by 157 runs, but ended losing the series 1-2.

Nevertheless, Steve’s resurgence is well-documented in the annals of cricket. The twins played 108 Tests together, before Mark was dropped prior to the 2002 Ashes series in Australia. For Steve, it was a strange feeling to walk onto the Gabba for the first Test in Mark’s absence.

It’s arduous to choose between one of the twins in the same field on most occasions, for the debate pertaining to which one of them is better often arises. But the fact that both Steve and Mark created their own legacies deserves tremendous praise. It is on this day, 22 years ago, that it all started.

(Karthik Parimal, a Correspondent with CricketCountry, is a cricket aficionado and a worshipper of the game. He idolises Steve Waugh and can give up anything, absolutely anything, just to watch a Kumar Sangakkara cover drive. He can be followed on Twitter at https://twitter.com/karthik_parimal)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by 100 runs level series 2-2 at Bulawayo

Mahela Jayawardene’s century at Colombo against South Africa lauded by Kumar Sangakkara, Tom Moody

Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka steps down

Mahela Jayawardene ton takes Sri Lanka to 305/5 on Day 1 of 2nd Test against Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma advises him not to play square of wicket

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka steps down

R Madhavan undergoes dental transformation for Laal

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo

Decision on poll alliance with JD(U) after talks: Lalu Prasad Yadav

Google street view of galaxies a reality

Aamir Khan to play pehlwan onscreen?

Taqa India Power Ventures pullout won’t affect debt-reducing efforts: Jaypee Group

Mobile services market in India to be $19.2 billion in 2014: Gartner

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here