Shane Warne passes on but the shine will remain

Despite his banter and snide, Indians loved his Cricket

See ya mate, but we will miss you (AFP Photo)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, March 5, 2022

That Shane Warne is no more, is as unbelievable as the world’s greatest leg-spinner remaining wicketless at the end of an innings.

A legend of all forms of Cricket, Share Warne died in Thailand on March 4, 2022, reportedly of a heart attack. He was 52 years old and we record with regret the loss to what was once referred to as the Gentlemen’s Game.

Sudden end

MPC Entertainment, a London based management company said in a statement that Warne died of a suspected heart attack in Koh Samui, an island off the East Coast of Thailand.

“Shane was found unresponsive in his villa and despite the best efforts of medical staff, he could not be revived. The family requests privacy at this time and will provide further details in due course,” it said.

Reuters quoted Thai Police saying that Warne and three other friends were staying in a private villa and that one of them went to inquire about him after the former Cricketer did not meet them at dinner.

Known for his moods and unsavoury comments on and off the field, Warne was indubitably one of the best that the world of Cricket has produced over the years. He took 708 wickets in 145 Test Matches (Average of 25.41 and 37 five-wicket hauls) and 293 wickets (in 194 One Day International Matches with 1 five-wicket haul). Some of the Indian masters of spin have admitted that Warne brought back the glory of this form of bowling.

Shock and sadness

International Cricket Council Chief Executive Geoff Allardice expressed shock and sadness at Warne’s passing and said that his impact will be remembered for generations to come.

“He was a true legend of the game, who changed the landscape of cricket by reviving the art of leg-spin. His larger-than-life personality, extraordinary skill and immense cricketing intellect ensured fans were glued to their seats whenever he was involved in a game,” he said.

Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian Cricketer who holds the record for the highest score (30,000 runs) in International Cricket, said that he was shocked, stunned and felt miserable hearing the news of Warne’s death.

“We will miss you Warnie. There was never a dull moment with you around, on or off the field. I will always treasure our on-field duels and off-field banter. You always had a special place for India and Indians have a special place for you,” he said in his tweet.

An impressive career

Shane Keith Warne was born on September 13, 1969, in Upper Ferntree Gully, a suburb of Melbourne in the State of Victoria in Australia. Starting as a representative player of the University of Melbourne Cricket Club in the then Victorian Cricket Association Under-16 Dowling Shield Competition, he bowled a mixture of leg-spin and off-spin and was a handy lower-order batsman. He debuted in First Class Cricket on February 15, 1991, and steadily rose to become one of the greatest players of Australia.

Warne played his first Test match in 1992 and took more than 1000 wickets in Tests and One Day International Matches. His 708 Test wickets was the record for most wickets taken by any bowler in Test Cricket until 2007 when Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lankan surpassed him (he hold the world record with 800 wickets).

Warne was a useful lower-order batsman, scoring more than 3000 Test runs. As well as international matches, he played domestic Cricket for his home State of Victoria and Hampshire in England. He was Captain of Hampshire for three seasons from 2005 to 2007.

Warne made his international debut against India in 1992 in Sydney and called time on his career in 2007 after completing a 5-0 whitewash in the Ashes at the same venue. After the end of his playing career, Warne took up commentary and coaching roles.

Shane Warne: A great player bows out (ICC Photo)

Fame and Shame

Warne was named in Australia’s ‘greatest ever ODI team.’

To mark 150 years of the Cricketers’ Almanack, Wisden named him in an all-time Test World XI. Following his retirement from International Cricket, Warne played a final season at Hampshire in 2007 before retiring from first-class cricket.

He played in the first four seasons (2008–2011) of the Indian Premier League for the Rajasthan Royals, both as Captain and Coach. He led his team to victory against the Chennai Super Kings in the final of the 2008 season. In February 2018, the Rajasthan Royals appointed Warne as their team mentor for the IPL 2018.

In 2012, he was inducted into the Cricket Hall of Fame by Cricket Australia and in the following year (2013), by the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. In a fan poll conducted by the Cricketers’ Almanack in 2017, he was named in the country’s best Ashes XI in the last 40 years.

His career was plagued by scandals off the field, including a ban from Cricket for testing positive for a prohibited substance, charges of bringing the game into disrepute by accepting money from bookmakers and sexual indiscretions.

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