Born in Ferntree Gully, Victoria, 13th September marks as Shane Warne's birthday. The Australian is widely considered as the best leg-spinner of all time. He took the art of spin to newer heights and the whole world was often in awe of the things he could do with a cricket ball.
Warne made spin bowling look sexy. In his prime, Warne was one of the few bowlers who commanded respect from the opposition.
Many experts have tried to study and decode Warne’s artistry but failed to crack the exact mantra behind his success. Warne’s feats are so epic that it is hard to discuss leg-break bowling without appreciating his contribution towards it.
Throughout his career, he relied on two of his oldest friends – excruciating accuracy and an exquisite leg-break. He had an animated and charismatic personality on and off the field. His sledging and psychological battles with the batsmen were as important as his top spinner when it came to getting under the skin of the batsman.
In the traditional format of Test cricket, Warnie was the leading wicket-taker with 708 scalps in 145 matches before his arch rival Sri Lankan great Muttiah Muralitharan surpassed him. His 37 five-wicket hauls and 10 ten-wicket hauls showcase just how dominant he was in the longer format of the game.
Ball of the Century!
Warne's out-of-the-world leg break which bamboozled England’s Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in 1993 is often described as the ‘Ball of the Century’. To do this in the 'Ashes' shows just how much of a 'big' game bowler he was. When the Aussies desperately needed a wicket, they knew that Warne would eventually find a way to send a settled batsman back to the pavilion.
Warne grabbed 293 wickets in 194 ODI matches at a superb strike rate of 36 with an economy of fewer than 4.30 runs per over. The World Cup triumph of 1999 was the highlight of his ODI career, Warney took 20 wickets in ten games to help the Aussies win the biggest trophy in world cricket.
Unfortunately, it was Warne's off-field behaviour which dented is extraordinary on-field achievements towards the fag end of his career. He was suspended for a year after testing positive for banned substance just before the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Allegations of extramarital affairs rocked his personal life which eventually led to him splitting with his ex-wife Simone.
All’s well that end’s well!
Warne decided to retire on December 21, 2006, after helping Australia regain the prestigious Ashes urn. He continued to play in T20 domestic leagues and lead Rajasthan Royals to a title triumph in the inaugural season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The tournament displayed Shane’s aggressive captaincy and astute man management skills.
Currently enjoying his stint as a commentator, there is no doubt that he will eventually master the skills and become a king of the commentary box. As far as his on-field legacy is concerned – Shane Warne will always be remembered as one of the finest bowlers in the history of the gam