There are cricketers, and then there are cricketing legends. So many people become cricketers, but you have to be a player of incredible calibre to become a legend. One such legendary player is Shane Warne.
Warne is a retired Australian right-arm spin bowler. He is among the greatest bowlers, and indeed the greatest players, to have played the gentleman’s game. He is regarded as one of the greatest of his generation, and is an inspiration for aspiring cricketers to pick up bowling.
Standing at six feet tall and weighing 85 kg, Warne is a revolutionary bowler. He is not just an elite bowler, but the man who spearheaded the change in bowling for the modern game. Warne shone the spotlight on the technique of spin, which was obsolete at the time.
Before Warne’s time, fast bowling dominated the sport, but the Australian established a duopoly of techniques in bowling. His spinning left anyone watching or facing it dumbfounded. Ask Mike Gatting, who Warne bowled out in the most humiliating fashion with a ball referred to as the ‘ball of the century’.
Warne was a presence on the pitch, tormenting batsmen at will. Cricket fans welcomed his style of play, as it was a fresh departure from the generic fast bowling they had seen for a long time. Warne’s accuracy and clinical ability to turn the ball, even on terrible pitches, was a revelation. It was literally a mix-up game employed by Warne, that kept the batsman guessing and guessing until he inevitably succumbed. Whenever he stepped up to bowl, the world eagerly watched.
Warne’s prowess in the Ashes series is the stuff of legend. English batsmen were his favourite targets, and he came up trumps against many of them on so many occasions. In addition to Test cricket, Warne was superb in the ODI format of the game. He led Australia in the latter, suffering only one defeat. He also led his team to the 1999 Cricket World Cup final, where they beat Pakistan thanks to a masterclass from him.
What makes Warne an all-time great is the fact that in addition to his unparalleled bowling ability, he has impressed with the bat. Many have noted that Warne was perhaps the greatest ‘non-all-rounder’ with the bat. He was once dismissed after hitting a staggering 99 runs. Warne is perhaps unlucky in that regard, that he has never hit a century in his career. This is more surprising when you consider that he has scored the most international runs without a single century. 4000+ runs without a hundred to his name is both unlucky, and a testament to his reliability. He was a big game player, and rightfully earned that moniker through phenomenal performances.
Warne was born Shane Keith Warne on 13 September 1969. The 51-year-old’s father’s name is Keith Warne, and his mother’s name is Bridgette Warne. He has a younger brother named Jason Warne. He has three children with his former wife, named Brooke, Summer and Jackson.
Warne is a devout Christian. He has stated that his favourite cricketers are Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Yasir Shah, and his rival and contemporary Muttiah Muralitharan. Warne also watches football regularly, and has mentioned that he is a fan of Lionel Messi. The legend has also made clear his love for food, and is a lover of Spaghetti Bolognese, pizza and all kinds of beer. Death Metal is his favourite musician, and London is his favourite destination in the world.
Warne is a divorcee. He was married to Simone Callahan for ten years, until their separation in 2005. He was engaged to Elizabeth Hurley years later, but it was called off.
Warne is a frequent drinker and smoker. As a kid, he has mentioned that he disliked bowling and preferred to bat. It was because he could hardly bowl good deliveries, and the ball never used to bounce well. Even though we all know how well that aged, Warne recalls that against India in particular, those fears started to haunt him. He once shared the story of how Sachin Tendulkar invaded his dreams after the Little Master scored a lot of runs against him. Warne is also an author, and his two books, titled ‘Shane Warne: My Own Story’ and ‘Warner: The Official Illustrated Career’ were both bestsellers and fantastic reads.
When Warne hung up his boots, cricket said goodbye to an all-time great, and one whose legacy will never be matched. The difference between great players and legends is the fact that legends change the game. Warne changed the complexion of bat and ball forever, and for that, he is a legend.
|Name||Shane Keith Warne|
|Born||13 September 1969|
|Weight||85 kg/187 lbs|
|Type of cricketer||Bowler|
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