Saturday, March 5, 2022

RIP Shane Warne

What a shocking piece of news. The phone had pinged with the notification of Shane Warne’s passing away. It was simple unbelievable. While the days are usually filled with terrible news – the Russian invasion of Ukraine, spiraling energy prices, a threat of nuclear war – somehow this one left me quite shaken.

Warne was a legend of the game. His career stats are outstanding – 708 wickets, most wickets in a year, most runs without a Test century, Player of the Match in World Cup semis & final, world cup winner, multiple Ashes winner, winning the IPL as player-captain-coach! The highlights reel of this stellar career is just the stuff of dreams and all this after a 1/150 on debut! And there was the flipside also – bookie information passing, run-ins with establishment, a drugs ban. But his sheer genius with a ball in hand (and sometimes with the bat as well) made him a true star. After all, not many could make things happen the way he did. And let's admit which cricket fan has not tried to imitate Warne’s bowling action. It was a simple action, an easy walk and just bowl it, nothing complicated and the ball then did all the talking!

His performances against India may have been a blip but here also he took a rag-tag bunch of Rajasthan Royals to inaugural IPL trophy ensuring that even us Indians barely impressed by any spinner finally acknowledged his genius.

Thankfully for the cricket fans, we have YouTube which is treasure trove of Warne’s accomplishments. Here is a compilation of my favorite ones.

Ball of the century to Mike Gatting

IMO his best ball in Test cricket – to Andrew Strauss

The ultimate sign of genius – walking the talk as he dismisses Brendon McCullum in a BBL game

Rest In Peace Shane Keith Warne – you legend!

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