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Shane Warne

Shane Keith Warne

Shane Keith Warne is an Australian former international cricketer of superb intellect, widely regarded as one of the best bowlers in the history of the game. Shane Warne is widely admired by Australians and cricket lovers all over the world for his unsurpassed skill and charisma.

Warne’s success promoted the almost-forgotten art of leg-spin and brought verity to a sport that had been dominated by fast bowling. He took a Test hat-trick, won the Man-of-the-Match prize in a World Cup final and was the first cricketer to reach 700 Test wickets. Warne also scored over 3000 Test runs, and holds the record for most Test runs without a century. At times he could court controversy, but he is primarily remembered for his vast array of googlies, top spinner, leg breaks and other armour in his leg spin.

Born in the bayside suburb of Melbourne on September 13, 1969, Warne came to cricket relatively late in his teenage years. He had played just seven matches in the Sheffield Shield domestic club competition before being selected for Australia, and he made his Test debut against India in January 1992 at the Sydney Cricket Ground. His Test debut though was far from impressive and he picked up just a solitary wicket of Ravi Shastri at the expense of 150 runs.

An undeterred Warne returned to the academy, sharpened his skills and returned for Ausralia’s Ashes tour to England. His first ball of the series was written into the history books as the “Ball of the Century”, bowling the experience English batsman Mike Getting with a ball that turned from well outside leg stump to clip the off bail. Overall, he took 71 wickets in 1993, then a record for a spin bowler in a calendar year. A year later, in the second Test of South Africa’s tour, Warne claimed his maiden match haul of 10 wickets at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Warne was equally good in coloured clothing also. He made his One Day International debut on 24 March 1993 against New Zealand. He was the key member of Australia’s squad for the 1996 World Cup and took 12 wickets, including a match winning 4/36 in the semi-final against West Indies. He ended his ODI career seven short of the 300-wickets mark.

Controversies and Shane Warne were simply inseparable. In 1998, he faced controversy of taking bribes from an Indian bookmaker four year earlier. A day before the start of the 2003 World Cup, the Aussie spinner tested positive for a drug test, and was slapped with a one-year ban. Returning in 2004 from a 12 months ban for consuming forbidden diuretics, he swept aside 26 Sri Lankan batsmen in three Tests, and the following year scalped a world record of 96 wickets.

During 2005 Ashes series, he became the first bowler in history to take 600 Test wickets. Warne’s 708 Test wicket was the record for the most wickets taken by any bowler in Test cricket, until it was broken by Muttiah Muralitharan on 2007.

On December 21, 2006 Warne announced his retirement, which came into effect after the fifth Ashes Test match in Adelaide, after helping Australia regain the Ashes. However, he continued to compete on the club level until 2013. Warne’s most notable T20 achievement was leading Rajasthan Royals to the title in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League.

Warne was named as the one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1994, and was also named as Wisden Leading Cricketer of the World in the Year 2004. In 2000, he was selected by the panel of cricket experts as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century.