Shane Warne retires

To quote a friend of ours: "Shane Warne is so damn Australian, it makes me want to cry".

That pretty much summed up our feelings for the first seven or eight years of Warne's international career. Stupid hair, thoughtless idiot always getting himself into trouble, irritating habit of making England batsmen look stupid. What's to like?

Turns out there's actually a lot to like about Shane Warne. He clearly loves cricket; he's massively professional, in the weirdest sort of way; he's a competitor in the most literal sense; he's wildly entertaining with the bat and utterly absorbing with the ball.

If you're reading this, you doubtless watch quite a bit of cricket. In any game there are passages of play which are less than engrossing. Have you ever been distracted while Shane Warne's got the ball in his hand? It's not just waiting for him to demonstrate each of his deliveries. It's not just that he might suddenly decide to spin one at right-angles. It's not just the ham-acting after each near miss.

When Shane Warne bowls, you can spend a good long while working out what he's trying to do. Every delivery has a reason. What's he trying to find out? What's he trying to do? Is he building up to something? Has he seen a weakness? He's moving the field. Why?

Basically, when Shane Warne's bowling, you don't know what's going to happen. That's why we like sport. If it were totally predictable, why would you need to watch? Think back only a couple of weeks to when he paralysed England during the second Test, taking 4-49 as England were all out for 129. That was the sequel to his 4-31 when England won the fourth Test at Trent Bridge in 2005. England got 129 to win, on that occasion, but it was nowhere near as easy as it should have been. That would be Shane's fault.

We'll finish with the first words we wrote about Warne here at King Cricket: "England require 12 runs to win and have all ten wickets in hand. Shane Warne’s bowling and it genuinely feels like Australia are favourites."

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Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typically, he timed his retirement for maximum effect. Not only did he upstage Glen McGrath's announcment, but coming after the cliching Ashes win he assured the flood of stories in the British press calling him the "greatest of bowler all time".

I guess it's subjective, but it's hard to call someone who has an everage of 30+ on the subcontinent (and much worse in India in particular) the greatest bowler of all time. There's no doubt he's the best _Ashes_ bowler of all time, which might account for the over-the-top announcments, and he is perhaps the most durable of all spin bowlers.

But the greatest? I would have to say, that, taking into account performances on all continents and all types of pitches, McGrath has been more crucial to Australian success over the past 10 years than Warne.

6:43 pm  

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