Second highest wicket-taker in test cricket history. Ball of the Century. Simply a legend.
Shane Warne is considered to be one of the greatest cricketers to have ever walked onto a cricket field and is arguably the greatest spin-bowler of all time. He burst onto the international scene at the age of 22 after playing only seven first class matches, and he had some variable performances in his first year in the international squad.
In 1993, Warne was selected to play in the Ashes tour in England and what a series he had! It was the second day of the first Ashes Test at Old Trafford, and a young, fearless Warne stepped up and provided none other than the Ball of the Century. Warne’s first ball against England was beautiful delivery that bowled out England opener Mike Gatting, kicking off Warne and Australia’s dominance in Test cricket.
This spectacular delivery is iconic in the cricketing world and marks the revival of leg spin bowling. Warne helped overturn the domination of fast-bowling cricket that prevailed for two decades before he made his debut.
The Ball of the Century was the perfect way to start the phenomenal career in which he managed to take a staggering 708 wickets in 154 Test matches for his country. Shane Warne became the first cricketer to reach the milestone of 700 Test wickets. It was Andrew Strauss who was the victim in the fourth Ashes test in 2004, which was also Warne’s penultimate Test match of his career. In 2005, Warne again broke another record, but this time for the number of wickets in a calendar year by reaching a staggering 96 wickets. In 2000, Warne was named one of the five Wisden cricketers of the century, alongside greats of the game, Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garfield Sobers, Sir Jack Hobbs and Sir Viv Richards.
Warne joined the county side Hampshire in 2000 and spent eight seasons playing for the English team. After his retirement Warne was a frequent face on television, becoming a regular commentator and pundit for worldwide cricket. Warne also passed on his expertise by coaching London Spirit in the inaugural Hundred competition which took place last summer.
There is no doubt that the tragic and sudden death of Shane Warne has truly touched the cricket community and all those who watched his spectacular deliveries. Warne’s legacy will live on, and he is a legend to generations that have followed him. His brilliance with the ball inspired the current crop of spin bowlers and his influence in the sport will not be forgotten.
Shane Warne was and is the reason why so many people watch cricket and his genius, insight, personality and energy will all be sorely missed.
Rest in Peace Shane Warne – 1969-2022 (aged 52).