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Warne takes final bow

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Tom Fordyce | 16:25 UK time, Thursday, 19 May 2011

And so, at last, after farewells to international cricket and the first-class scene spread across four years and three continents, Shane Warne will finally end his blockbuster of a professional career with a whimper when the Rajasthan Royals slip out of the IPL reckoning in Mumbai on Friday.

Glowing eulogies will fill the air, and perhaps a few relieved sighs from martinets among the game's administrators. For English cricket watchers there will be a mixture of both.

In two decades of devilish tweak, extravagant celebrations and tabloid-filling good times, Warne had a hold over English batsmen and fans like few others before and none since.

Some have described him as a magician, conjuring the impossible from those twirling arms and wrists, foxing onlookers with sleight of hand and tricks of the finger but to a generation of player and fans in Blighty he was always more of a torturer - breaking hearts, plucking prize scalps and forever tightening the thumbscrews, his mere appearance at the end of that skip of a run-up enough to trigger waves of foreboding and fear.

Visits from Liz Hurley have kept Warne in the headlines during his final IPL campaign - photo: Getty

Now, at his valediction, it's fascinating to go back to the very start, before the storied successes, 143, 838 deliveries, 708 Test wickets, two World Cup medals, Wisden Cricketer of the Century award and the single most famous delivery in the history of the game.

Warne's first impact on the English psyche came in 1991, when Accrington Cricket Club's manager Eddie Robinson - himself a former leggie - took up a tip-off from Aussie spin guru Terry Jenner and gambled £5,000 on the signature of a tubby 19-year-old from the other side of the world.

Andy Barker was the club's captain that summer, and has irreducible memories of the teenager who turned up "carrying a fair bit of timber".

"I still remember his first game," Barker says. "We'd had a 'meet the pro' night the evening before, and Shane had been buying all the committee members drinks.

"We batted first. When I was out I passed Shane coming in, and wished him the best of luck. I was still taking off my pads when I heard this great roar outside - he'd got a first-baller, stumps everywhere.

"The committee members didn't mince their words. Some of them had enjoyed a few drinks by then, and as Shane was walking back in, all he could hear was, 'Send him back! He's bloody rubbish!'"

If those early forecasts were to prove short-sighted, the members weren't the only ones struggling to comprehend what was in front of them.

Warne had arrived in an era defined by fast bowling, where 15 years of West Indies pace dominance meant leg-spin was a weapon not just mothballed, but seemingly outmoded by the bigger guns and Big Birds.

Aggressive, wicket-taking and match-winning bowlers were tall, muscular and rapid, not tubby, fat-fingered smokers.

Warne's genius was such that, within just a few years, that paradigm had been turned upside down. Where once England had picked Greg Thomas as a poor imitation of the world's most dangerous bowler, they would soon be placing similarly unfair expectations on the shoulders of Ian Salisbury and Chris Schofield.

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For Warne's team-mates in the Accrington side, it took time to adjust.

"Our wicketkeeper was the best in the league, but he just couldn't read Shane at all," says Barker. "You couldn't stand up to him, because he turned it so much and with so much variety. He made him look silly. We ended up going through three keepers that season.

"You saw batsmen who'd never played anything like that, but then neither had our fielders. In the end, we had to come up with a series of signals so Shane could warn us what was coming. We worked at it on our practice night - if he was going to bowl the googly, he'd bend down to fiddle with his shoelace, and so on."

As an international cricketer Warne flourished in the toughest situations, filling his boots when others shook in theirs and refusing to let go of a game when even team-mates had long since given up the ghost.

In that giddy summer of 2005, when the Aussie Ashes hoodoo was finally laid to rest by Michael Vaughan's equally aggressive England side, Warne's were the last fingers to be prised off the urn, his 40 wickets almost singlehandedly keeping his country in the contest, that defiant rearguard assault on the final morning at Edgbaston nearly stopping the fairytale before it had begun.

Fourteen years before, the same characteristics had been evident in less lauded surroundings.

"For the first few games it was really tough for him," says Barker. "We were going through a transition, and lost three of our first four. Shane was only 19, but a lot was expected of him.

"Then we played Ramsbottom in a cup match. Shane took six wickets, and he never looked back. He had that fighting quality, and he had a leadership quality. His cricket brain was unbelievable - it was a pleasure to watch and captain him.

"He had the same belief with his batting, too. Every practice night he used to convince me that he was brilliant, that he was going to be on par with the Australian greats, even though watching him bat was terrible on the nerves. We had a standing joke in the dressing room - when Shane went in to bat, we'd all get the cigarettes out, even the non-smokers."

Warne bids farewell to his adoring Aussie fans after his final Test appearance in 2007 -photo: Getty

In his pomp, and then into his cricketing dotage, Warne has never lost his appetite for trouble. For every 10-wicket haul there was a scandal to undermine it, from undisclosed liaisons with unlicensed bookmakers to dabbles with diuretics, sneaky fags and pizza obsessions to flings with supermodels and fines from those in charge.

Warne being Warne, he managed to make even those public embarrassments iconic and defining of the era. He was the first cricketer to get in trouble for texting, the first to see his Tweets turned into news stories and the first to turn a growing gut and shrinking hairline into a lucrative source of endorsement income.

It earned him larrikin status back home and made him a pantomime villain in England. But no matter how many unflattering headlines he created, or how shameless the plugs for poker sites and fast-food chains, he did it with sufficient charm and chutzpah to retain his place in the public affections.

"He loved the beer," says Barker. "And once he got off the mark he certainly got on well with the females. It was also a standing joke in Accrington that we broke even on our investment in him, as he put most of his money back over the bar in the clubhouse.

"But he won everyone over. He made friends with so many people, and was a real hit in the town.

"He stayed in digs in Accrington, nothing glamorous, and used to invite us round and offer us Vegemite on toast. It was the only thing he could eat.

"He was just one of the boys, and he always kept in touch. The experience of captaining a young Shane Warne, and then watching what he's gone on to do - I'd say it's one of the highlights of my life."

Warne took 73 wickets at 15 apiece in a truncated summer in Accrington. ("He would have ended with 100 wickets, but he left with eight games to go," says Barker.)

Two years later he was back in England, a few miles away at Old Trafford. Listening to the Test Match Special commentary as he is thrown the ball by Allan Border, you can almost hear the old world being replaced by the new.

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JONATHAN AGNEW: "Warne coming on, taking off his floppy hat to reveal a shock of blond hair... there's an earring in one ear as well, certainly a member of the new generation of international cricketers....

TREVOR BAILEY: "No ponytail though...

AGNEW: "No ponytail, but one of these new shaved jobs, a number two or three razor round the back and rather more hair on top... I just wonder, Trevor - there must be a little bit of pressure on young Warne's shoulders here, because he will know that his team is expecting him to come on and take some wickets here."

BAILEY: "Well if he doesn't turn the ball, England will have a very good time indeed."

He did turn the ball, more than most of us had ever seen before. England, far from having a very good time, would be in for a very bad one for a very long time indeed. Warne would relish every second of it.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    What a bowler certainly a true legend of the game.he will be dearly missed

  • Comment number 2.

    Why is the moderation taking so long?

  • Comment number 3.

    Whatever his faults, Warne has given cricket some of its best storylines over the years. No doubt the comments section will turn into a fight between who was the best spin bowler of their generation, but his friendly rivalry with Murali is something I'm glad to have seen in my lifetime and he certainly goes as one of the greats - both by achievements and raw talent. Good luck to him in whatever he ends up doing next.

  • Comment number 4.

    Couple of years ago, my girlfriend at time saw Warne on the news and asks, "I see a lot of that guy these days. I know he was a cricketer, but was he even that good?" A moment of silence passed before I responded. "You'd best sit down and put the kettle on, 'cos I'm gonna TELL YOU how good Shane Warne was." Greatest cricketer of my generation.

  • Comment number 5.

    Murali or Warne.. It really does not matter. Warne broke my heart and inspired me with every ball. A true cricketing genius that could turn results by sheer will power. The stats are interesting but inconsequential.

  • Comment number 6.

    The words legend and genius are over used in sport these days but Shane Warne was truely both. Add to that his never-say-die-attitude and he amounts to the best cricketer I have ever seen. Whilst he inflicted a lot of pain on England over the years I will miss him, will we ever see his like again?
    Enjoy retirement Warney it was a pleasure to watch you.

  • Comment number 7.

    GREATEST BOWLER EVER

  • Comment number 8.

    Warne what a legend!!! I remember when he learnt his trade from legendary Pakistani leg spinner Abdul Qadir! He has always been a winner i was star strucked by his skill when he bowled Gatting with a beauty then some years later did the same to Strauss. Wouldn't be suprised if the Indian Pathetic League call him back when he's 50 because he is still capable to play at the competitive level!!! Hold up your glasses for WARNEY

  • Comment number 9.

    How good was Warne? Well after England's euphoric triumph in the 2005 ashes which I celebrated along with everyone else, all I wanted to do was bowl leg spin! He defined cricket for his generation.

  • Comment number 10.

    Warne, McGrath & Gilchrist best bowlers & keeper partnership worked so well together.

    Warne one of the players you would pick if your life depended on a game.

    A modern day sporting legend!

  • Comment number 11.

    A privelage to have watched him (and to have a treasured autographed match ball from the St. Lawrence ground) thanks for all the joy and angst you have given us.
    An all-time legend.

  • Comment number 12.

    I just remember the Barmy Army singing him off the pitch at Lords...wish you were English, we just wish you were English..." LEGEND!

  • Comment number 13.

    "Tubby"?? It took the combined might of Symonds and Hayden to carry him off the pitch.

  • Comment number 14.

    Shane Warne is the most important cricketer ever. He saved Test cricket. Before him 4 fast bowlers bowling 12 overs an hour and youngsters thinking I can't bowl fast so I'll bat. Then suddenly Warne bowls in 1993 and 4 weeks later I have 6-8 colts all wanting to bowl leg spin.
    Leg spin is an art. It entrances people. It adds beauty to the most beautiful game. The game becomes cerebral and not just about physical courage when facing spin,especially leg spin.
    All geniuses are flawed because all humans are. Warne was the greatest bowler of all time. We have been so lucky to have seen him in our lifetime. Thanks Shane.

  • Comment number 15.

    Being only 8 at the time of the jaffa to end all jaffa's I was only vaguely conscious on what he had achieved with that one ball. The next 12 years of nightmares did keep it in the psyche. The man is true legend of the game and look forward to seeing the next one like him who turns the entire concept of bowling on it's head. I just pray he's English.

  • Comment number 16.

    "Great" can too readily be branded, but there's no doubt in my mind Shane Warne is a "Great", and possibly his greatness has enabled others to be considered for the accolade. But he didn't need to be enabled. The great West Indies pace attack always used to say it didn't matter how few runs they made, they'd bowl out the opposition for fewer, and Shane had the same aura about him.

    When I was a kid I used to experiment how to finger and wrist spin the ball with a bent arm and throwing it directly downwards. It's a lit bit different when you have to bowl it over 22 yards with a straight arm, but I've always pondered over hearing commentators enquiring whether there was spin in the wicket, and asked myself why there weren't just 'spinners', rather than 'leg spinners' and 'off spinners'. With the arrival of Qadir, Shane, and Muralitharan, I'm left asking what were the likes of John Emburey, Vic Marks and Robert Croft all about. Shane explored all the avenues of the art, and isn't that what they all should be doing?

    With the references to Greg Thomas and Ian Salisbury, you hint at a touch of the LTA at the ECB (in the past, at least), Tom, the inability to think for oneself, to build your own destiny, the hopelessness of trying something because it's working for someone else without really understanding why it's working. Greats can think for themselves, and don't need to try and copy anyone. They are their own men (excuse the political incorrectness).

  • Comment number 17.

    Warney truly is a great and an icon of the game. His misdemeanors and off field antics actually made him more affable and indeed more iconic.

    He is a true great because he achieved great things and also has achieved great moments that will forever be remembered and replayed throughout the history of cricket.

    For those reasons he will endure time as a true great of the game.

  • Comment number 18.

    Champagne moment of the century! Thanks Shane for bringing the fun back to test cricket.

  • Comment number 19.


    As an Australian, I can scarcely articulate what Shane Warne has meant to sport in this country. Needless to say, we knew from very early on that Warnie was special...but he became so much more than that precocious brashy talent. The type of player that you could watch, by yourself, and have a smirk on your face for an entire Test Match.
    Many will eulogise about his abillity, but his true impact was in rejuvenating the stagnant state of Test cricket. He made kids, the world over, want to play. His peerless skill was equally matched by his mental prowess. He made cricket a 'thinking sport' again. And his often satirised combination of brilliance on the field with hopeless indiscretions off it, only humanised the man from his occasional mythical status.
    Sport can be an emotional pastime...the way it moves us is why we love it so much. And Warnie moved us time and time again, through our brightest Golden Era.
    Thanks Shane, you bloody legend.

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    I love many sports and have seen some wonderfull men and women excel at there chosen sport in my 53 years. Cricket isn't even my #1 favourite sport but if I could have been any sportsman in the world then it would have been Warney for me, no doubt about it.

    During that enthralling test series in 2005 I was passing through the check-outs at Asda in Kendal when I overheard two elderly ladies chatting about the Ashes. One of them was explaining in very knowledgable terms how a Googley is delivered, using a lemon as a ball. Thats what Shane Warne did for cricket during his career. He got people talking about something they probably wouldn't have noticed had it not been for his marvelous ability with a ball in his hand.

  • Comment number 22.

    A very great player and entertainer, I was privilaged to watch him, in Tests and towards the end of his career when the Captain of Hampshire, we will never see his like again.

  • Comment number 23.

    The very best for me as well. No-one cared about leg-spinners when he came on to the scene. The only ones you heard from were the wheezing old fogies in the commentary box. He single-handedly changed the way the game was played.

    Test cricket's not been the same since his retirement. Even the most patriotic England fan had to admit to a grudging respect and even fear of Warne. It seems that when he departed, then so did a generation of Aussie will-to-win. It was clear in the summer of 2005 that without his incredible input, Australia were pretty much a spent force and have been ever since.

    "Good riddance" I say! ;-)

  • Comment number 24.

    Shane Warne (and to an extent Glenn McGrath) single-handedly made Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh's jobs a whole lot easier.

  • Comment number 25.

    The turn Warne could impart on the ball is criminal. A nightmare if you're a leftie. I remember him bowling well outside off-stump to Cook, full length, and turned the ball nearly 90 degrees, hit Cook on the pads, but LBW was ruled out as it was sliding down leg. The whole crowd jeered the umpire's decision.

  • Comment number 26.

    People... A man balls his first ball on England Soil and it turns out to be the "Ball of the Century"...... Take a Bow fellar's! We aint gonna see another Warne ever....

    Botham, Warne..... where are the controversial figures in Cricket now days...??? Seems like the amount of cricket played now days overshadows the flair......

  • Comment number 27.

    Personally I rate him as the best (that I have seen anyway).

    Every time he came on to bowl a sense of impending doom came over me. He didnt stay beat. Dragged Aus out of some awful situations

  • Comment number 28.

    Best cricketer ever, even from an English perspective. His bowling stands him out, but he was no mug with the bat and was second-to-none as a slip fielder. I was always left with mixed emotions when Ponting or Waugh would throw him the ball - a combination of both fear and excitement that no other player has ever inspired in me - and that was just sta there watching. I'd hate to think what it did to the batsman facing him.

  • Comment number 29.

    Not that I'm being pernickety Tom (which I am), but Warne has not bowled anywhere near 140,000 deliveries. You've added his Test and One day deliveries on top of his First Class & List A statistics, despite the latter including these deliveries already! Think you'll find it's nearer 90,000, which makes his number of wickets all that more impressive. Slap your researcher on the wrist for me please.

  • Comment number 30.

    Despite being a West Indies supporter, it has been a priviledge to sit through the Shane Warne era. The Australian leg-spinner coming on to ball to Brian Lara was always 'edge of the seat' stuff. Warne had that rare commodity in these days of bland, 'sanitised' sport - effortless charisma and star quality. Would Shane Warne have been a great captain of the Australian Test team ?

    Truly one of the all-time great cricketer's.

  • Comment number 31.

    SKW was a legend. Chuffed that Hampshire (my county) are going to honour him. But, totally off subject, can we have a blog about the vacant no.5 spot in England's line-up. PLEASE!!

    Warne deserves his spot, no doubt. I guess it's a democratic thing. Anyone else agree, please sign here.

    Hildreth gets my vote (in case anyone's remotely interested)

    Thanks in anticipation.

    Good luck SKW, so long and thanks for everything.

  • Comment number 32.

    The thing I always loved about Warney was that he could take the 'abuse' from the English crowds with a smile on his face and a chirp back. Some players will snarl, some will ignore it but Warne knew that the stick he got was out of respect. When he took his 500th (?) wicket over here in 2005, the whole place rose and gave him the reception he deserved. He was a player we loved to hate, but he was a player who always had the respect of everyone. The greatest player I have ever seen.

  • Comment number 33.

    Shane Warne.. What a player. I have absoloutely loved hating him, He has always been entertaining on the pitch and in the studio. I wish I'd had seen him twirling them in at the Rose Bowl so I could cheer him on.
    I doubt we will ever see a more destructive spin bowler. Murali is amazing but Warney had the lot.

    When people talk about a bowler turning a defeat into victory, Shane Warne is the first person anyone should think about. He was part of a bowling attack which defined the modern game, not taking anything away from the Windies but with Warne and McGrath.. there was a gurantee of rattling timber!

    Thanks Warney for the unbeliveable awe inspiring cricket you delivered.

  • Comment number 34.

    R-Brooker

    It's going to be Morgan he's currently unbeaten on 186 for the Lions against Sri Lanka while Hildy only scored 35 (Bopara scored 17). This is great news for the Somerset fan inside me but the England fan in me says Hildreth has played in great form for the past year to warrant his chance at breaking into the squad. I also think he's a better long term prospect for England in the 5-day game.

    Morgan is the favoured son in the England camp though and has performed for this one innings so it'll be hard to see it being someone else.

  • Comment number 35.

    Warne is an absolute legend. Gave him plenty of stick but that was just through respect, like the Barmy Army chanted, just wish he was English.

    Wrt the vacant position in the England batting order, firstly I think the position should be at number 6. I think whomever comes in will be a more attacking batsman than Bell therefore it'd be good to split KP and the new comer. I've always been a Bopara fan, and he can bowl a bit, but I am a fan of all 3 and Morgan appears to be the man in possession.

  • Comment number 36.

    "Legend" is a term used far too easily in most context, especially Sport and Entertainment but lets be honest, "Warney" really is one of the greats.

    Lest also admit it, we would have loved it if he had been British .... only 'Botham' (outside of the 'quickies'), has had the same sort of grip over batsmen, and the public's imagination.

  • Comment number 37.

    SKW,

    First of all thanks for the memories.

    Next where do we place you in the pantheon of great cricketers?

    For mine you are the undisputed best bowler of all time. I would describe you as the Bradman of the ball but will accept (after some strenuous verbal jousting) that as a minimum you were the best spin bowler of all time.

    Finally, how good a captain were you and could you have been?

    Your unbelievable cricketing brain has often been commented upon. The Aussies who surround me continue to tell me how good Waugh and Punter were as skippers when I know (and you know) that they were a couple of pawns on the chess board. Tubby was possibly a rook when you were sitting there as the King (squiring a few healthy queens I may add). It fills me with joy when I contemplate what Australia missed out on – in terms of understanding the game you were a colossus.

    As the Highlander said: “there can be only one”. I am just so grateful I was alive to see the “one”.

  • Comment number 38.

    Nice one Shane.

    One of those cricketers so famous that even people not really into cricket knew who he was. An utter nightmare for England supporters, but absolutely brilliant for the way he psychologically destroyed batsmen over and over again.

  • Comment number 39.

    the pleasure that people like Warne gives more than makes up for the reprimands that I get for watching test cricket for 5 days doing nothing.
    And the duel between Tendulkar and Warne and between Warne and Lara are not only great to watch but also inspires many fellow beings to get the best out in face of the biggest obstacles one faces.
    Warne may be a flawed person but as a cricketer there is none better than him(may be one or two), and this coming from a Indian cricket fan who will anyday worship Tendulkar.

  • Comment number 40.

    That photo of a slimmed down Shane Warne has an uncanny resemblance to Paul Gascoigne in my view. I just hope he doesn't go the same way in his well deserved retirement.

  • Comment number 41.

    I don't see how there is a debate about who was the better bowler between Warne and Murali.

    The fact that their records are similar but Murali played more than half of his tests in the very spin friendly sub continent whereas Warne played half of his on pace friendly Aussie pitches says all that you need to know.

    I wouldn't want to belittle Murali's achievements, but Warne was a class apart.

  • Comment number 42.

    Nice read.

    One of the greats. The Friday afternoon spell of the Edgbaston Test in 2005 when he bowled Strauss remains the best sporting moment i have witnessed. Cheers Shane.

  • Comment number 43.

    Warne was always watchable - on and off the pitch, and is one of the all-time great cricketing raconteurs.

    He changed the game of cricket and not many can say that.

    He has made mistakes - big mistakes - and certainly has his flaws, but Warne is certainly the best spinner I've seen in 30 years of watching cricket.

    Really enjoyed the article Tom especially seeing the name of Greg Thomas again, which reminds me of that wonderful sledge from Viv Richards, which is unfortunately unprintable here!

    For any that may be interested, here is our ever-so slightly tongue-in-cheek tribute to Warney http://bit.ly/lWFwJx

  • Comment number 44.

    @34, ncurd

    thanks. Tried to post a reply earlier. Thought I had! Somerset's gain will be England's loss. Hildreth's 1st-class ave. is better than Morgan's I believe. But Morgan's doing well against SL. At least we've strength in depth. And Onions is back on form it seems. Good luck. RB

  • Comment number 45.

  • Comment number 46.

    Greatest player of his generation and assured a place at the very top table of cricket greats, was always a pleasure to watch him in international and county cricket exceptional bowler, top class batsman, fielder, tactician and character privileged to see him play

  • Comment number 47.

    Legend

  • Comment number 48.

    Shane Warne is one of the all time greats and legends in cricket and one of the all time best bowlers in cricket. We will never see anyone a cricket player as successful as him ever again. Will be interesting to see what Warne does now after retiring from cricket. I predict he will continue play his new hobby poker or be a cricket commentator.

  • Comment number 49.

    yeah great bowler nightmare for English and SA batsmen

  • Comment number 50.

    As an Australian i have been privileged to have such a great cricketer in our history. Most will not remember but Warne was very very close to be handed the captains armband...Punter got the job. Ian Chappell calls him Australia's greatest captain we never had. Warne changed Test Cricket in the way World series cricket changed everything....it was a world change, the direction of everything changed. I for one have seen him play many times for Aus and i loved every moment he walked out onto the field...i could sit through 5 days of test cricket and be enthralled by the battle taking place in front of me...Can anyone really say that now about Test Cricket??
    Personally i loathe the guy and never wanted to see him has captain of my country but on one can put aside the effect he has had on Cricket..all forms of the game...good and bad :)

  • Comment number 51.

    greatest spinner to ever play the game,he is a legend,felt like he could take a wicket with every ball when watching him bowl vs england. i think its a shame his last game was for the r.royals in the IPL,he should have had a proper send off in australia,dont they play T20 cricket down under?

  • Comment number 52.

    Warne is the Maradona of cricket, you dont those people all the time playing and when you do is certainly the best expierence ever, im glad i have seen both played. indeed the best australian captain we never had

  • Comment number 53.

    The tag "legend" is often bandied around, sometimes given to those who dont deserve it. Warney is one of those people who deserves the tag. In fact in cricketing terms, I've sometimes thought the word was invented just for him. Nobody bowls a ball like Shane Warne. Nobody. You cant say that about many people. Therefor the tag of "Living Legend" is just, and I'm proud to have witnessed him play. He's an enigma, and not only that, did it his way without compromise. I respect the hell out of anyone good enough to pull that off and still keep a positive image.

    And I say this as an Englishman.

  • Comment number 54.

    He is the Teflon Kid....fined for accepting money from bookmakers, banned for a year for taking illegal substances, openly dismissive of the then coach Buchanan in the media...everything slips off him, companies line up to have him endorse their products still....he is one of the greatest players ever but just as #52 said he is the Maradona of the cricket world...great player, but a little sad as well..

  • Comment number 55.

    Good to see something positive about Shane Warne's retirement on BBC, although the 'whimper' description a bit harsh - and as it turned out yesterday, not all that accurate! But it fits with BBC's generally sniffy attitude to the IPL, as amplified by Jonathan Agnew (e.g. yesterday on Twitter) et al. Not healthy nor clever, bigger picture, to be so negative about free-to-view cricket with such great players on show - and with great potential to inspire kids and get more of them interested in playing in parks and back-gardens again...

  • Comment number 56.

    Good luck for his future. Game of cricket will definitely miss the greatest spinner

  • Comment number 57.

    What a player!

  • Comment number 58.

    Shane Warne changed the whole view of what makes a good bowling attack and without him, lengthy spin bowling at test level would be probably about as common as uncovered pitches.

  • Comment number 59.

    Warne ending his elite career a long time ago. No reason to mark his last match as a mercenary in a generally low standard league where the domestic players aren't good enough and a number of the international players are past their best or too tired/unmotivated to perform.

    I don't know why he is stopping now though, Warne could hold down a place in an IPL team for another 5 years.

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    Shane Warne, greatest spinner the game has ever seen. Better than Muralitharan by a country mile with an action that was never called into question. Warne and McGrath - perhaps the greatest bowling partnership of all time.

  • Comment number 62.

    Spinner Shane thrilled us with his masterly bowling craft. He could train youngsters in the art of taking wickets in style. Farewell and thanks for the lovely contribution with the ball and sometimes with the bat too.


    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

 

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