Warne the Wizard of Spin

Only last Sunday I heard Shane Warne guesting on the Sky Sports cricket podcast hosted by Rob Key and Nasser Hussain. On that podcast Warne explained his coaching plans for the London Spirit cricket team for the upcoming season of The Hundred. Warne also talked about his interest in becoming the next England head coach. That England job fascinated him. During that chat with Key and Hussain, Warne was scathing of Cricket Australia’s management and senior players over their treatment of his former team-mate and head coach, Justin Langer, who recently resigned from his post.

Warne was always keen on modernizing the game of cricket. He was an enthusiastic thinker of the game. He embraced the T20 format of cricket in its early days and was crucial to its success during the early phases of the Indian Premier League. Warne enjoyed The Hundred in England and the interesting strategies that new form of the game gave coaches and players.

Warne loved those cricket captains who brought innovation to their field placements and bowling options.

I loved Warne’s straight talking. I have always thought his bluntness is what my West Indies senior and upcoming players needed to get their act together.

Warne was a winner, an entertainer and a leader. He may have not been the official skipper of the Australian cricket team but you could see that those captains would lean on his advice.

Warne made leg spin bowling hip. With his bowling, supported by the commentary of the late Richie Benaud, the art of understanding leg spin became a treat for fans as we learnt more about the top spin, the flipper, the googly and of course the slider.

Not only was Warne a great cricketer but he brought new people to the game.

Shane Warne was magnetic, magic and masterful. He just gave the game of a cricket an honesty and passion both on and off the field that is rare. He was always in the game.

Warne was engaging with fans whether at the match, on the streets of London and at book signings. He was just great banter the few times I came across him in London.

In the commentary box Warne kept stating all he wanted to see was just good competitive cricket. Even if his own Aussie team were on top, he wanted the opposing team to perform well and kept churning out advice over the mic.

Yes, Warne had an edge, a gusto and had the odd bit of controversy. But what a star!

There were a few times when Warne’s bowling was taken to task by the brilliance of the likes of Brian Lara (West Indies), Kevin Pietersen (England) and VVS Laxman (India). But Warne would show his class by applauding or displaying a wry smile when such batsmen reached their landmark or made a brilliant stroke off his bowling during the innings.

It’s hard to believe we won’t read Warne’s tweets or hear his views on the current tour to Pakistan by Australia. It is hard to believe Shane Warne is no more.

52. Man

“In the space of a short time, he’s (Shane Warne) turned the game upside down, changed it in concept,” – Richie Benaud

India, 2001: Warne vs Laxman

About africanherbsman1967

Ideas Man
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