Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Shane Warne: The man who made spin bowling ‘cool

March 5, 2024 12:09 AM IST

cricket | Shane warne | spin bowling

By: Aditya Ahuja 

Two years have silently slipped by since the cricketing world mourned the loss of its beloved icon, the Australian spin maestro, Shane Warne.

Warne’s memory is etched in the minds of fans, not just for his remarkable cricketing achievements, but for the sheer spectacle he brought to the game.

Every now and then, I can’t help but picture Warnie running his hands through his golden locks, twirling the ball before his brief run-up– a ritual that became iconic. The anticipation sizzled with every roll of his wrists, and the red cherry was unleashed with different levels of mastery.

The entire performance before every delivery was enough to sell out stadiums.

Warne embodied ‘cool,’ a swagger that couldn’t be bought, learned, or practiced, you either have it or you didn’t. Warne had it, and in abundance.

His on-field theatrics were a sight to behold, creating an aura that transcended the boundaries of the cricket field.

The legendary duels between Warne and Sachin Tendulkar were simply epic. Before the 1998 India-Australia series, Sachin was like the boy who always came first in class in school. You knew he was good, but how good was he? What is the measure of greatness? Greatness is usually achieved when you cross swords with another genius and come out on top. For Sachin, that was the battle with Warne. That made him, and elevated him to a level beyond mere excellence.

While fast bowlers and batsmen traditionally stole the limelight, Warne transformed spin bowling. From the moment he broke on to the scene, the art of spin was revitalised all over the world. He made it ‘cool’, just like Jonty Rhodes did with fielding.

Warne’s off-field shenanigans, like any flawed superstar, only added to the myth surrounding him.

Forget the statistics; the 700 plus wickets, the ball of the century, and take a moment to reflect on that flirtatious run-up before each delivery. It wasn’t just cricket; it was entertainment at its finest.

Watching Warne was not like watching a regular game of cricket, it was a show.

Just go back and think about all those moments and ask yourself, were you not entertained?

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Last updated on: 13th June 2024