The Meaning of Luck: Stories of Learning, Leadership and Love
In a season in which the cricket World Cup will be played in Australia for just the second time, former Australian captain and 2004 Australian of the Year Steve Waugh is releasing the revised paperback edition of his best-selling book, The Meaning of Luck.
Throughout the book, Steve explores the concept of luck, based on his experiences in the worlds of sport, business and charity. He begins by recalling the potentially devastating experience that rocked his life two and a half years after he retired from cricket. ‘The best example of my take on luck is my wife Lynette, who in 2006 suffered a stroke,’ he explains. ‘She nearly died and would have died if Australia’s best neurosurgeon had not been on hand to treat her.
‘Today, she calls her illness a “stroke of luck”, which she can do only because she fought so hard to regain her health and strength. She is lucky, but only because she chose to be.’
Lynette is the first of a number of characters in the book who each, in their own way, provide a fascinating perspective on what is and isn’t ‘luck’. There are cricketers — such as Viv Richards, Ian Botham, Glenn McGrath and Sachin Tendulkar — and also Olympians, coaches, business and community leaders. Most important of all, there are the brave children Steve has come into contact with through his philanthropy in India and Australia.
The specific World Cup chapters in this paperback edition continue this ‘luck’ theme. Steve recalls some famous moments in Cup history that he was intimately involved in, such as the Herschelle Gibbs dropped catch in 1999 that many believe cost South Africa the tournament and Mike Gatting’s ill-fated reverse sweep that was a major turning point in the 1987 final.
The stories in The Meaning of Luck provide a ‘life guide’ for people seeking to progress not just in sport, but in whatever direction they choose. Each chapter carries a message about leadership, maximising potential, having fun and getting something out of life.
‘Australia's all-conquering former cricket captain rarely did anything badly on the field; he was a record breaker with the bat who captained his country in 57 Tests of which he won 41 and lost only nine. He writes a winning story too.’
— The Guardian
STEVE WAUGH evolved from a series of setbacks early in his international cricket career to become arguably the toughest, most mentally strong player of his generation. He retired in 2004 with more Test and one-day appearances than any other Australian cricketer. He was named Australian of the Year in 2004 and Australian Father of the Year in 2005.
Steve led his country to 41 victories in 57 Tests between 1999 and 2004, clearly the best winning percentage for a Test captain with more than 20 Tests in charge, and in 106 one-day internationals, for 67 victories, including the 1999 World Cup. The Australian cricket team was named ‘Team of the Year’ at the 2002 Laureus World Sports Awards.
Since his retirement, Steve has swapped his cricket whites and baggy green for a business suit and tie, built an enviable reputation as a writer and observer on the game he loves, and worked with the Australian Olympic team and the Australian soccer team in mentoring and athlete liaison roles. He has also devoted much time to charity — most notably through his patronage of the Udayan children’s home in Kolkata, India, and the Steve Waugh Foundation’s support for children fighting Rare Diseases in Australia.