Shane Warne and Steve Waugh were the two great faces of the Australian team in the late 1990s. Waugh later also led the Australian team. But Warne and Waugh's relationship has soured for years. In 1999, former captain Waugh decided not to take Warne for Australia's tour of the West Indies. Waugh has told how he reached the decision to drop his best spinner from the fourth and final Test. Waugh said during a conversation with former England captain Mike Atherton on Sky Sports, This was my first tour of the West Indies as a captain. As a captain, you are expected to make tough decisions. So you have to do this job. You are not there to please everyone. I always wanted to be loyal to my players at a certain point, but you would be loyal to the team and their performance.
He said, I was in touch with Shane before the Test match. Before the match, we had a schedule and so we had a direct conversation and I mentioned a few things. The next day I went to a team meeting, where it was Geoff Marsh, Shane Warne, and me. Waugh said, In those days when you were on tour, two players and the coach chose the team. The selectors had nothing to do with it. I found it strange because you had the selectors who were choosing the team for the home series. But it was up to the captain to decide on the foreign tour.
The former captain said, Warne came back after recovering from shoulder surgery. I think he was brought back into the team too quickly. We had Stuart McGill, who swung the ball the same way in the last Test match. Brian Lara was playing spinners well on the West Indies tour, so I thought it was the right decision. In that series without a war, the Australian team had to play 2–2 draw.