Obituary: Shane Warne was the great showman and entertainer of cricket

The great Australian cricketer died Friday at the age of 52 of a suspected heart attack, according to a statement from his management team.

Warne has captured over 1,000 international wickets, including 708 test wickets – second only to Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka – during his illustrious career and retired from cricket in 2013 as one of the greatest ever in the sport.

He was a prominent figure on the dominant Australian team in the late 1990s and early 2000s, winning multiple Ashes series and the World Cup in 1999.

Allied to his dominance with the ball was his charismatic personality, which transformed Warne from cricket star to global sports superstar.

“Warnie was a great cricketer of all time, a once-in-a-century cricketer, and his records will live on forever,” said current Australia captain Pat Cummins, nicknamed Warne “King” in his statement.

“We all grew up watching Warnie, idolizing him, we all had posters on the wall, we had his earrings. What we loved so much about Warnie was his showmanship, his charisma, his tactics, the way he arrogated himself and the team. that surrounded him about wanting the teams around him to win games for Australia, and especially his incredible leg spinner skills.

“There are so many guys on this squad and team that still consider him a hero … favorite player of all time. The game has never been the same since Warnie emerged and the game will never be the same again. after his death.

“Rest in peace, king.”

Warne celebrates with his teammates after taking Sachin Tendulkar wicket in 1999.

Ball of the century

Warne was not only a bowler who could dominate matches almost on his own, he was also an entertainer, happy to joke with England fans and often the subject of tabloid headlines.

While his first year as an international player gave some indications that he was destined for success, a single ball he threw in Manchester in 1993 completely changed the perception of the bowler.

Just a year after his international debut in 1992, Warne was playing in his first Ashes series in England.

Adorned with his short, bright blonde hair and brandishing his now famous right-arm bowling action, Warne produced a bewildering delivery in what has been dubbed the “ball of the century”.

The delivery seemed to go beyond the stump of English batsman Mike Gatting’s leg. Then he bounced off the court, shot dramatically and missed Gatting’s club before surprisingly hitting the stump.

Like many others, Gatting was stunned that such an initially harmless delivery cost him the wicket – former England player Graham Gooch said: “It looked like someone had just stolen his lunch.”

Warne bowling during the Third Ashes test match against England at Old Trafford cricket ground on 4th July 1997.

Warne’s ability to fly and spin the ball with such a devastating effect helped revive leg twisting from a forgotten art to a key component of modern cricket.

“The highlight of my cricket career was keeping Warnie’s wicket,” Adam Gilchrist, legendary Australian wicketkeeper and longtime teammate of Warne, he wrote on Twitter.

“The best place in the house to watch the teacher at work. I have often felt a little selfish, that Heals and I are pretty much the only ones who have that thrill and that test-level pleasure. Rip Warnie.

Other cricket greats were quick to pay tribute to Warne’s remarkable talent.

“Shocked, dazed and miserable,” he wrote Indian Sachin Tendulkar – widely regarded as one of the best hitters of all time.

“There has never been a dull moment with you out and about, on or off the pitch. I will always treasure our duels on the pitch and off the pitch. You always had a special place for India and the Indians had a special place for you.

“Got too young!”

Former Indian national team hitter Virender Sehwag She said on Twitter: “One of the biggest spinners, the man who made spin cool, superstar Shane Warne is gone.

“Life is very fragile, but it is very difficult to understand. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and fans around the world.”

“I’m shocked to the core”

During his career spanning over 20 years, Warne has won numerous trophies and awards.

In the Australian team that won the World Cup in 1999, Warne won the award for man of the match in the final. He was named one of the top five Wisden players of the 20th century, as well as being selected in an all-time Test World XI by Wisden to commemorate 150 years of the cricketers’ almanac.

Away from international cricket, Warne also played a pivotal role in making the Indian Premier League (IPL) the behemoth it is today.

In 2008, he led the Rajasthan Royals to the inaugural IPL title, something he says gave the tournament “credibility because the underdog did well”.

“To then go on to win in the style that we did, which put the IPL on the map. Any losing story like that – look at Leicester City, what they did. It’s a pretty amazing story,” Warne told CNN in 2019. , referring to the football underdog’s notable Premier League title triumph in 2016.

“I have been very lucky to play in an era of Australian cricket where we have had great success. We have beaten all the teams at home and away, we have won the World Cup, the Ashes series, so we have achieved enormous results.

“Being a part of all of this with the Australians and doing those things was great, but the IPL was completely different.”

Warne poses for photos after speaking to the media during a Melbourne Stars Twenty20 Big Bash League announcement on November 8, 2011.

Warne played his entire career in national cricket in Australia with his native Victoria, but had spells with Hampshire in England.

“Absolutely shocked and gutted to learn about Shane Warne, he wrote former Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara. “Legend and friend. I can’t believe it.”
Also former West Indies hitter Vivian Richards She said on Twitter: “Incredible. I’m shocked to the core. This can’t be true … Rest in peace, Shane Warne. There are no words to describe what I’m feeling right now. A huge loss to cricket.”