Cricketing dream team: Steve Waugh to showcase iconic 32 baggy green caps as part of his book’s exhibition

Cricketing dream team: 32 baggy green caps of the greats to go on show – Former Australian captain Steve Waugh will unite some of the most iconic baggy green caps in history in a couple of days time in Sydney. The lineup would arguably make a cricketing dream team, with 32 names, including Belinda Clark and Alex Blackwell among Donald Bradman, the Chappell brothers and others. While the players have been spread over decades, Waugh has managed to re-unite some of their iconic memorabilia which will be on display in the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

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Cricketing dream team: Steve Waugh to showcase iconic 32 baggy green caps as part of his book’s exhibition

During his interview with The Sun-Herald, Steve Waugh holds Bradman’s cap, which normally lives in a glass case at the SCG, carefully wearing white cotton gloves – a requirement of the insurance company.

Baggy Green caps from former Australian Test cricket players.CREDIT:

“A good mate of mine bought the Bradman cap many years ago and lives overseas and has never touched it or seen it. That’s [Bradman’s] famous 1948 cap [from the] Invincibles team, so that’s why it is so unique, ” said Steve Waugh.

The legendary Australian skipper added, “I was thinking [while I was holding it] that it belonged to the greatest cricketer of all time, his head was inside that cap. Even getting my cap back out of the museum and putting it on my head, it just felt perfect. It felt like it belonged. I almost miss it. It is something that is part of me and instantly I felt bonded with it again.”

Cricketing dream team: Steve Waugh to showcase iconic 32 baggy green caps as part of his book’s exhibition

Who would Waugh pick as a dream team? “You’d obviously pick Bradman. I think the most fascinating is someone like “Chuck” Fleetwood-Smith (10 Tests, 1935-1938) who was a bit of an eccentric player, left-arm, Chinaman bowler [googly delivery], he was certainly a character of the game. I’d say Lillee would definitely open the bowling, Allan Border as a batsman, Neil Harvey … you are spoilt for choice,” said Waugh.

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Jason Brooks is a businessman from Scone who is a lover of all things sport. A friend of Waugh’s, he owns 23 of the caps. He doesn’t call himself a collector. He is a “custodian”. He explains that since 1993, players only get one cap. Bradman is believed to have had 13 caps because he played in so many series.

“The most important cap to me is Richie Benaud’s (63 Tests, 1952-1964), a great Australian Test captain, which he probably doesn’t get the kudos for. For his commentating, he’s a household name. To own a cap of someone who was in everyone’s living room every night, ” Mr Brooks said.

Jason Brooks with the collection of Baggy Greens.CREDIT:

He keeps the caps in dehumidified bags in a vault. Are they all the same size? “No. Anything before, say 1950, the caps were a lot smaller. They are a lot larger as the years go forward.” His first cap, purchased six years ago, was Ray Lindwall’s (pace bowler, 61 Tests, 1946-1960)

Cricketing dream team: Steve Waugh to showcase iconic 32 baggy green caps as part of his book’s exhibition

“I think I paid $15,000. I am more intrigued about the older players. It’s very important that we remember those who have gone before us, what they stood for and what they taught us. To own a Bradman cap would be the holy grail, I suppose.

“I am like any kid of my era – everyone wanted to play Test cricket for Australia. I always wanted to have a baggy green and play for Australia. There’s only one reason I didn’t. I just wasn’t good enough.”

And his dream team from the 32 names? “You’d struggle to choose a captain. Most people would say Ian Chappell. I’m not 100 per cent sure on that. Steve would be captain, by a country mile. Obviously Sir Donald Bradman would bat at three and definitely Ray Lindwall or Dennis Lillee, two of the greatest Australian bowlers of all time, ” he said.

The baggy greens are part of an exhibition of Steve Waugh’s cricketing photography from his book The Spirit of Cricket – India at the Hyatt Regency from November 17. Entry is free but a contribution to the Steve Waugh Foundation can be made.

Cricketing dream team: Steve Waugh to showcase iconic 32 baggy green caps as part of his book’s exhibition