There was a mix of photography and cricketing fans at Nulla Nulla Gallery on Thursday night, September 7, for the launch of Steve Waugh's exhibition.
The Australian sports legend's "Spirit of Cricket, India" showcases the creative side of a man considered to be one of the greatest cricketers of all-time.
The exhibition is currently at the Slim Dusty Centre in Kempsey and is free to view until November 19.
The Macleay Argus caught up Steve Waugh ahead of opening night.
Arguably the best Australian cricket test captain, Mr Waugh's precision on the pitch has translated smoothly to photography, proving himself a talent in more fields than one.
Just as in cricket, Mr Waugh was ambitious in his photographic pursuit and says both ventures needed "one-hundred-per-cent commitment."
"I took on this project and looking back I was pretty ambitious, making a photographic coffee-table book of high quality when I was just an average photographer, it was a big step up," he said.
"I had to really realise that I had to work really hard to make sure it was a good book."
Mr Waugh believes his cricket career has taught him the art of determination needed to get the skills to take good photographs.
"I had to have a good coach, and listen, and try to dedicate myself to get the best possible photo."
Mr Waugh says having the knowledge that "hard work does pays off" helped him in his new venture.
"It's pretty crazy to think I have a photo exhibition. I never thought that would happen ever."
Those attending the exhibition can view a collection of images captured by Mr Waugh during a trip to India in 2021 that shows the power the game of cricket has in bringing people together.
Scenes of cricket being played on sand dunes, by monks, in front of the Taj Mahal and with the Himalayas as the backdrop are just some of the shots taken, showing cricket really is everywhere in India.
"The concept was really 'why is cricket a religion for the people of India' and through the stories and meeting people...you see the spirit of people come through in the stories," said Mr Waugh.
"A lot of the people haven't got much material possessions and they have a tough life but when they play cricket everyone's equal and makes them feel happy and proud and united," he said.
"So cricket is the power to pull people together."
Mr Waugh felt inspired meeting all walks of life during his travels.
"The physically challenged cricketers and the blind cricketers, and then kids playing in the Dharavi slums of Mumbai and then you go to the Murijas palace...such a diversity, and incredible people," said Mr Waugh.
"I met a 100-year-old cricketer who was the oldest cricketer then down to a 3-year-old who is a star on Instagram."
"It gives you a complete picture of how important cricket is to lots of different people."
In India it's everyday, everywhere. Cricket is in your face everywhere.- Steve Waugh
This is not Mr Waugh's first time in Kempsey Shire, and won't be the last.
"I love the area," he said.
"I've been up this region quite a bit, in Kempsey. It's good fun."
Mr Waugh says he appreciates the "no hassle" element of the Macleay Valley.
"It's a great spot up here. You've got the coastline...it just seems to be peaceful and quiet," he said.
"There's no traffic, there's no hassle up here. It's nice and relaxed."
Mr Waugh says he loves to "take the back roads" to meet people and hear their stories.
"I love travelling around Australia...I love meeting people in the country areas, they're always friendly and happy and it's more relaxed," said Mr Waugh.
"Any excuse to go to the country and visit and meet people."
The photography exhibition will travel to Melbourne next with hopes of making it to India in the near future.
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