Kollam, Kerela: While many of his former team mates were busy playing cricket at the highest level in India, former Australia captain Steve Waugh was steeped in celebrations of Vishu here.
Vishu marks the beginning of the New Year in the local calendar. Waugh got a taste of local festivities at a private function in a luxury hotel about 70 km from the state capital late Saturday night.
Many devout Hindus turn up in their best at temples across the state to mark Vishu, which is believed to signal good fortune in the coming year.
Waugh's colleagues Brett Lee, Ricky Ponting and Adam Gilchrist are all taking part in the 2013 edition of the popular Indian Premier League cricket tournament, which began early this month.
"I wish all Keralites here and across the world a happy Vishu," Waugh said, soon after lighting the traditional lamp past midnight, signalling that Vishu had arrived.
Waugh, however, could not be convinced to don the traditional seamless "mundu" as part of celebrations.
Waugh, who was in the state soon after he retired as captain in 2004, had expressed his desire to serve as brand ambassador should Kerala Tourism make him such an offer.