Laureus academy member Steve Waugh shines a light on India’s passion for cricket

Steve Waugh has always had a great affinity with India.
The former Australia cricket captain fell in love with India when he first toured with the team in 1986 and he’s since travelled to the country dozens of times.
As a Laureus Academy Member, Waugh has twice visited the ‘Magic Bus’ project in Mumbai, one of the most successful and emotional projects supported by Laureus Sport for Good in India.
Waugh has recently spent 18 days in India to capture the nation’s passion for cricket at close quarters for a ground-breaking new book of 220 of his own photographs entitled ‘The Spirit of Cricket – India.’
“During my playing days, you go from airport to team bus to the hotel to the cricket ground,” explained Waugh.
“I always sat at the front to see what was going on and you see these amazing sights so I wanted to get out there and get amongst them. The game is very pure in India and they make their own stumps out of anything they can find.
“I played cricket with monks in front of the Himalayas which was pretty amazing – they were incredible cricketers playing with rock hard cricket balls and on uneven turf. Their enthusiasm is quite amazing and I love the raw passion and the essence of the game.”
Magic Bus improves the lives of children living in at-risk communities where the majority of residents live on or below the poverty line in difficult and overcrowded conditions. It has grown to 18 States of India in the last fifteen years, covering almost 400,000 children and young people from marginalised communities.
The programme creates 'classrooms without walls' using sport to give them an opportunity to develop vital personal and social skills that will help them to a better future.
Steve Waugh interviews Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar at the Laureus World Sports Awards 2020
Waugh explained how his visits to India with Laureus had also had an impact on him.
He added: “So many of India's children do not have the opportunity to meet their full potential. Magic Bus is an inspirational programme making a difference for some of the children in India and it's great to meet the kids and everyone involved in the project.
“As a representative of the Laureus Academy, it gives me a great sense of pride to be associated with Magic Bus. The work they are doing for young children is actually realising our vision of using sports to lead change and enhance their quality of life.”

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