Widely regarded as the greatest leg spinner in the history of cricket, Shane Warne was a renaissance man. He breathed new life into the bowling style of leg-spin which was dying and made it an integral part of the game.

His ball which bamboozled Mike Gatting in 1993, is regarded as the greatest delivery ever bowled by popular discretion.

He was the leading wicket-taker (708) in Test cricket, until December 2007, when the throne was usurped by another all-time spinning legend, Muttiah Muralitharan. Had he played as many ODIs as did other bowlers, the situation may have been the same, but his 293 from just 194 games, is testament to how dangerous he is. His average of just over 25 also makes him comparable to not just the greatest spinners in the ODI format, but the greatest bowlers, period.  

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shane Keith Warne

Born: September 13, 1969 (age 50), Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia

Height: 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm leg break

Playing role: Bowler

 

ODI Career: Australia (1993-2005)

Mat      Inns     Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI        BBM      Ave        Econ        SR           4w          5w          10w

194       191      10642      7541        293      5/33       5/33      4.25        25.74      36.32          1             0              0

 

Career Highlights

  • Only specialist bowler among Wisden’s 5 Cricketers of the Century
  • He was named as a bowler in Australia's "greatest ever ODI team"
  • He’s picked up 293 wickets in 194 ODIs
  • Claimed one 5-wicket haul in ODIs

As first impressions go, Shane Warne's in Ashes cricket was about as eye-catching as you could possibly get.  

It was June 4, 1993 and the second day of the series opener between England and Australia at Old Trafford. Having taken five wickets for 45 runs in the morning session to dismiss their rivals for 289, the home side's reply was progressing steadily enough at 80-1. 

However, Warne's introduction into the attack produced one of cricket's most memorable moments and changed the dynamic of the rivalry for over the next decade.

Mike Gatting will certainly never forget it, as the leg-spinner unfurled a delivery that flummoxed the England batsman.

'The Ball of the Century', as it became known, was poetry in slow (bowling) motion. The initial drift appeared to make it look innocuous enough as it veered to pitch outside the line of the right-handed Gatting's leg stump, only to dip, rip and zip beyond his defensive prod, beating the outside edge of the bat before going on to hit off stump. 

It was a stunning opening statement. As if he had cast a spell that day, Warne would go on to dominate against England for the rest of his career. 

Gatting will famously be remembered as the first but plenty more would be mesmerised by Warne, who ended his international career with 708 Test wickets at 25.41. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (800), Sri Lanka's own spin king, has ever managed more. 

The variations - the wrong'uns, flippers, sliders and shooters, or whatever other name Warne came up with for the latest addition to his bowling repertoire - all helped add to his aura. So many batsmen were often done in the mind before he had even released the ball from his right hand.

England suffered more than any other nation. Warne claimed 195 wickets against Australia's greatest rivals – the most by any opposing bowler - at an average of 23.3. 

More than half of that tally came on English soil too (129 at 21.9 in 22 matches), with his numbers against them in Australia impacted by missing the majority of the 1998-99 series due to a right shoulder injury, as well as a further two Tests in 2002-03. In terms of wickets abroad, South Africa sit second on his hit list, Warne picking up 61 there in 12 Tests. 

The young, bright-blond bowler in 1993 went on to finish with 34 scalps during the six-match Ashes, though a strike-rate of a wicket every 77.6 balls was comfortably the highest for any of his four series on English soil.

He picked up four in each innings in Manchester – albeit none with such dramatic effect as the delivery that did for Gatting – then repeated the trick at Lord's in the next Test. While the returns dipped for the remainder of the trip, including just one wicket at Headingley, Australia eased to a 4-1 triumph to retain the urn. 

From that away success towards the end of Allan Border's reign through the captaincy eras of Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, the Australians would maintain their grip on the most famous prize in cricket until 2005, when Michael Vaughan's side worked out that attack was the best form of defence. 

The competitive nature of that series – after a lop-sided opener at Lord’s that the tourists won, every other fixture provided sporting drama of the highest quality – seemingly inspired Warne to reach a personal Ashes peak.  

No cause was lost when he had the ball that summer, as demonstrated when so nearly rescuing situations in eventual defeats at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge, when his side's batting failures left them playing catch-up. In the end, though, his 40 wickets at 19.9 were not enough to spare Australia from slipping to a 2-1 defeat.  

Still, he became just the eighth bowler to take 40 wickets in a series – and the first since 1989 – while striking on average every 37.9 balls. England had managed to win the war despite coming out second best in their battles with Warne. 

His hugely successful English summer helped towards an overall haul of 96 wickets in 2005, comfortably the best return during a Test career that saw him take 70 or more in a calendar year on four occasions.

The last act was to help regain the urn at home in 2006-07, Andrew Flintoff becoming Warne's 195th Ashes scalp when stumped by Adam Gilchrist in Sydney.  The bowler who made the fading art of leg spin fashionable once again had bamboozled England for the final time.

Shane Warne made an indelible mark on the Ashes on this day in 1993.

Shane Warne is a former Australian cricketer, widely regarded as the greatest leg spinner in the history of cricket.

Warne first caught eyeballs when playing for the Australia B squad. He took his first first-class five-wicket haul as he took 7/49 against Zimbabwe. Similarly impressive performances for the Australia A team saw him getting called up to his international debut.

On 2nd January 1994, Warne took 12 wickets in the second Test match against South Africa, asserting himself as a vital cog of the Australian bowling, despite losing the match by five runs.

 

Career Statistics

Full name: Shane Keith Warne

Born: 13 September 1969 (age 50)

Place of birth: Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia

Height:  1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)

Batting style: Right-handed

Bowling style: Right-arm leg break

Role: Bowler

 

Test Career: Australia (1992-2007)

Mat        Inns       Balls       Runs      Wkts      BBI         BBM      Ave        Econ        SR           4w          5w          10w

145         273         40705    17995    708         8/71        12/128   25.41       2.65        57.4         48            37           10

 

Career Highlights

  • 1st bowler to 700 wickets in Tests
  • 2nd most wickets in Tests (708)
  • 2nd most 5-wicket hauls (37)
  • 2nd most 10-wicket hauls (10)
  • Most wickets in a calendar year (96)

 

Alex Ferguson and David Moyes will remember April 22 as significant days in their Manchester United managerial careers for vastly contrasting reasons.

While for Red Devils legend Ferguson it is a day that ensured he bowed out from the game as a winner, something he became very accustomed to being at Old Trafford, for Moyes it is a day where a prophecy went unfulfilled.

Lennox Lewis will want to remember the date about as much as Moyes, while Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne engaged in a memorable showdown.

Below we take a look back at some significant moments of sporting history on April 22.


2013 – Van Persie treble delivers one last title for Fergie

It was unbeknownst at the time but Robin van Persie's superb first-half hat-trick in a 3-0 win over Aston Villa – including that volley from Wayne Rooney's assist – would take on extra significance.

The victory ensured United wrested the title back from rivals Manchester City, delivering a 13th Premier League trophy under Ferguson and a 20th top-flight triumph for the club overall.

Just over a couple of weeks later, Ferguson announced he would be stepping down after 26 glorious years that returned 38 trophies.

Ferguson is reported to have hand-picked Moyes personally as his successor, leading to him being dubbed the 'Chosen One' by the United faithful…

2014 – The 'Chosen One' done

Exactly a year later and the situation was worlds apart from the celebrations that saw United toast their latest title triumph.

Moyes was sacked just 10 months into a six-year contract with the champions, with United languishing down in seventh and guaranteed to record their lowest-ever points tally in the Premier League.

United particularly struggled at Old Trafford, so long a formidable fortress under Ferguson, while fans grew impatient with a docile style of play.

Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho have been and gone without returning United to the top of the pile, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's experiment remains a work in progress.

2001 – Lewis shocked by underdog Rahman

Lennox Lewis was the overwhelming favourite for the 'Thunder in Africa' against 20-1 shot Hasim Rahman in South Africa back in 2001.

But in one of the greatest upsets in boxing history, Lewis was floored by a strong right in the fifth round leaving the Briton unable to answer the count and surrendering his WBC and IBF heavyweight belts.

By November of that year, Lewis – after some legal wrangling – had his rematch and regained the belts with a fourth-round knockout.

1998 – Tendulkar goes after Warne

The record books will show Australia victorious by 26 runs, with India falling short in a revised target.

But the match against India was remembered for one particular legend v legend moment between Warne and Tendulkar.

Tendulkar masterfully judged the flight of Warne's delivery, smothered the spin and with astounding speed whacked the ball into the billboards at long-on.

Warne wiped the sweat off his face, knowing the personal battle on that occasion was emphatically lost.

The importance of good spinners in Test cricket has fluctuated over the years, with different environments changing the need for them. Over the decades, the spinners to stand out are those who defied their environment. The list of spinners who have done that isn’t as small as you would think and finding the best Test spinners of all time is not the easiest task. But here is the best that we have come up with to date.


 

Muttiah Muralitharan (Sri Lanka)

The wide-eyed steer of Muttiah Muralitharan has signaled the demise of batsmen in Test cricket 800 times over the course of 133 Test matches, making the Sri Lankan, the most successful bowler, let alone spinner, in the history of the game. His doosra meant that for about four and a half years, the off-spinner remained the number one bowler on the ICC Test bowlers rankings, a record to this day. For some, Murali should never have been allowed to bowl, a deformed elbow forcing a change in the laws of the game that some believe legitimized throwing. But wherever you stand on this point, for at least five Sri Lankan captains over the course of his 18 years in Test cricket, he was the man you could depend on to change the course of a game. In fact, his greatness was given an exclamation mark, when in 2004, he was asked to stop bowling his doosra. It never mattered, he would go on to devastate batting line-ups over the next six years with the same kind of consistency.

 

Shane Warne (Australia)

Shane Warne can lay claim to being the man that made being a leg spinner a thing again. After the 1980s and ‘90s where pace ruled supreme for both Australia and the West Indies, the two kings of cricket throughout those decades, the spinner was left a forgotten artform filled with people whose job it was to give the high-energy, high-impact quicks a breather. Warne was never a space filler and became Australia’s go-to bowler. Warne was rated as one of the five greatest cricketers of the 20th century, no great surprise when you remember the remarkable turn he could impart on a ball, his ability to drift it away from the batsman’s eyeline at the last moment, as well as an incredible ability to vary his pace without a discernable difference in the speed of his action. Then there was the addition of the flipper, which for the most part, batsmen never saw coming. That combination has led many to agree that Warne and not Muralitharan is the greatest bowler of all time and one couldn’t mount a serious challenge to the argument without creating some animosity. Warne was certainly a headline maker and the ball he bowled England’s Mike Gatting with in 1993, is the most famous delivery ever released from a bowler’s fingers. The ball was full and pitched well outside Gatting’s leg stump and turned so big, it clipped off stump. Warne was the first bowler to 700 wickets and would end his career with 708 from 145 Tests at an average of 25.41.

 

Jim Laker (England)

Jim Laker is most notably remembered for taking 19 Australian in wickets in a single Test match at Old Trafford, a feat that has not been repeated at the Test level or at the first-class one for that matter. But the off-spinner was more than that. Initially he was seen as good in County cricket but not quite at the Test level, however, that would change in 1952 when his 100 wickets for Surrey forced him back into the England set-up from which he was routinely dropped. He ended among the five cricketers of the year, according to Wisden. More regular inclusion meant he played 46 Tests, taking 193 wickets at an average of 21.24. That average made him one of the most dangerous spinners in the history of the game. In addition to his Test career, which admittedly could have included more Tests had his value been seen differently, he took nearly 2000 first-class wickets at the incredible average of just 18.41.

 

Anil Kumble

Tall and elegant, fairly quick through the air, Anil Kumble was not the typical Indian spinner who used flight and guile to dig batsmen from the pitch. His results weren’t typical either. Even among a country notorious for creating the best spinners in the world, Kumble still has the feather in his cap of being the bowler to have won most matches for India in their history. Kumble, rather than relying on flight and variations in pace, preferred to spear his deliveries in, extracting bite upon pitching. The leg-spinner’s tac made him notoriously hard to score off. He would get his variation from changing where he delivered from, creating illusions that were very difficult to manage. Kumble would go on to stand only behind Muralitharan and Warne in the wicket-taking department, ending his career with 619 wickets from 132 Tests at an average of 29.65. The figures meant he would break every bowling record for an Indian player.

 

Lance Gibbs (West Indies)

Lance Gibbs had unusually long fingers and it allowed him to extract prodigious turn from even the most pace-friendly wickets. Running in chest on, Gibbs was remarkably accurate and seemed to possess unlimited stamina. That stamina, combined with his ability, led to him becoming the West Indies all-time leading wicket-taker and the first spinner to go past 300 Test wickets. What was more impressive, was the fact that Gibbs, who ended his career with 309 wickets, did so in just 79 Tests at an average of 29.09. His accuracy meant he would end his career with an economy rate of 1.98 runs per over. On 18 occasions Gibbs would take five wickets in an innings, making sure that even if the West Indies batsmen were not at their best, they would never be completely out of a contest.

 

Rangana Herath (Sri Lanka)

It is not often that an active player can lay claim to being one of the greatest of all time at anything. Those athletes are usually so far ahead of the competition in their era, that it begs the question of where they could find greater. Rangana Herath has played 93 Tests for Sri Lanka, and in that time, he has taken 433 wickets at an average of 28.07. For a long time, Herath was the man that held one end, creating pressure, while Muttiah Muralitharan destroyed batting attacks from the other. With Murali’s retirement, Herath has stepped out of the great spinner’s shadow to become Sri Lanka’s go-to bowler. The left-arm orthodox spinner is accurate to a fault and his ability to bowl long spells makes him a true Test for even the most obdurate of batsmen. His greatness has been added to, by the inclusion of a mystery ball to his arsenal, a quicker delivery that darts back into the right hander. That arsenal includes the ability to vary his pace and flight, ever so subtly. But there is nothing subtle about his wicket-taking ability.

 

Bishan Singh Bedi (India)

Like the West Indies or Australia could fill a greatest of all time list with their pacers, the same is true about India and their spinners. At different times in their history, India have been able to field four high-quality spinners, keeping opposition attacks at bay. The patriarch of using spin to devastate oppositions, is one Bishan Singh Bedi.

Bedi was the consummate master of deception, conjuring variations in flight, loop, spin and pace all without changing his action. He would challenge batsmen to hit over the top, yet he wasn’t expensive, becoming a consistent wicket-taker throughout his career. In 67 Tests, Bedi carved out 266 wickets at an average of 28.71. His economy rate of 2.14 runs per over was not at all shabby.

 

Richie Benaud (Australia)

His brilliance from the commentary booth meant there are many who do not realise that at one time Richie Benaud was one of the best bowlers in the world. Benaud, who would captain Australia with the same quiet authority that he displays as a commentator, didn’t start very well, remaining a fairly ordinary player in the Australian side for the first six years of his Test career. But as captain, he thrived, leading from the front to end with 247 wickets from 63 Tests at an average of 27.03. His leg break googlies would be filled with little nuggets for batsmen on the attack to fall for, and as his wicket haul suggests, they often did. Benaud was the guru who Shane Warne would look to on his way to becoming arguably the greatest spinner of all time. Later Australian captains like Ian Chappell, who never lost a Test series as captain, would also look to the example of Benaud.

 

Clarrie Grimmett (Australia)

While Clarrie Grimmett turned out for Australia, he was really born in New Zealand, a fact which may have been why he never got the chance to suit up for Australia until he was 33 years old. Despite the advanced age for a debut, so high was his skill level, that he went on to play for 11 years, from 1925 when he started against England at Sydney, until he faced South Africa at Durban for his last.

At 44, he took his 216th wicket from just 37 Tests at an average of 24.21. Grimmett’s bowling was the stuff of legends. He was as accurate as a machine, adding the top spinner, the googly, and the flipper, by the time he began his foray in the Test arena. He was a wily customer and worked out whatever strategy batsmen had worked out for him. For instance, he would snap his left fingers when he bowled a regular leg spinner so as to hide the snap of his fingers when he produced the flipper. Australia put Grimmett out to pasture after the Durban Test, but his 7-100 in the first innings and 6-73 in the second, proved he may still have continued to twirl his magic for a few years more. Many believed, that in his earlier years, he was as important to Australia’s fortunes as was the batting of a certain Don Bradman.

Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

Ravichandran Ashwin leads the new generation of Indian spinner, who have now taken a more traditional role in bowling line-ups with the cricket-crazy country investing in fast bowlers in recent times.

Still, Ashwin has proven to be a go-to bowler, notching up 365 wickets in just 71 Tests at an average of 25.43. Ashwin broke into the Indian side via the Indian Premier League. He found it difficult to get into the Test team and play a major role thanks to the presence of Harbhajan Singh. Harbhajan’s fortunes began to fade and in the meantime, Ashwin began to put together an impressive tally of performances. In his first Test against the West Indies, Ashwin took nine wickets but it was agreed that a weak batting line-up may have contributed to that. The world waited to see if the performances could have been replicated and Ashwin duly provided the proof he was for real after a lean spell. While a far more dangerous limited-overs bowler, his progress since his Test debut in 2011 has made him one of the most impressive spinners in the modern age.

 

Saqlain Mushtaq (Pakistan)

Saqlain Mushtaq can most be remembered for being the bowler who first mastered the doosra, a delivery from an offspinner that turns the other way. Saqlain has been accused of trying too many different deliveries, always trying to get a wicket. Despite the differing attitudes to the spinner, Saqlain still managed 208 wickets in just 49 Tests at an average 29.83. His 10-155 in a match against India that brought about a close 12-run win is still talked about today.

Shane Warne's baggy green cap sold for a record 1,007,500 Australian dollars in a fundraiser for bushfire aid in Australia.

Legendary spin bowler Warne auctioned off his iconic baggy green cap – exclusively awarded to Australia's Test cricketers – to raise money for bushfire victims.

Bushfires continue to ravage Australia, where there have been casualties and devastating losses to wildlife with blazes in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

The online auction ended on Friday morning and Warne's baggy green doubled the record amount paid for one of Don Bradman's caps, which went for 425,000 AUD in 2003, with 100 per cent of proceeds to be donated.

Australia great Warne, who is second on the all-time list for Test wickets with 708, tweeted: "Thank you so much to everyone that placed a bid & a huge Thank you / congrats to the successful bidder - you have blown me away with your generosity and this was way beyond my expectations!

"The money will go direct to the Red Cross bushfire appeal. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you."

Australian great and legendary spin bowler Shane Warne will auction off his iconic baggy green cap to raise money for bushfire victims.

Bushfires continue to ravage Australia, where there have been casualties and devastating losses to wildlife with blazes in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

With the country reeling amid the devastating fires, Warne – arguably the greatest spinner of all-time and Australia's most prolific bowler – has joined the fight in a stunning gesture.

Warne, who is second on the all-time list for Test wickets with 708, wrote via Instagram: "The horrific bushfires in Australia have left us all in disbelief. The impact these devastating fires are having on so many people is unthinkable and has touched us all.

"Lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed and over 500 million animals have died too. Everyone is in this together and we continue to find ways to contribute and help on a daily basis.

"This has led me to auction off my beloved baggy green cap [350] that I wore throughout my test career [when I wasn't wearing my white floppy hat]. I hope my baggy green can raise some significant funds to help all those people that are in desperate need.

"Please go to the link in my bio and make a bid & help me to donate a big cheque! Thank you so much [heart emoji] #australianbushfires."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The horrific bushfires in Australia have left us all in disbelief. The impact these devastating fires are having on so many people is unthinkable and has touched us all. Lives have been lost, homes have been destroyed and over 500 million animals have died too. Everyone is in this together and we continue to find ways to contribute and help on a daily basis. This has lead me to auction of my beloved baggy green cap (350) that I wore throughout my test career (when I wasn’t wearing my white floppy hat). I hope my baggy green can raise some significant funds to help all those people that are in desperate need. Please go to the link in my bio and make a bid & help me to donate a big cheque ! Thankyou so much #australianbushfires

A post shared by Shane Warne (@shanewarne23) on

Australia legend Shane Warne is "disappointed" to see James Pattinson miss the first Test against Pakistan through suspension but feels the team are in decent nick ahead of the series.

Paceman Pattinson was found guilty of a level two breach of Cricket Australia's code of conduct for abuse of an opposition player in the Sheffield Shield.

The incident, which occurred in Victoria's clash with Queensland in Melbourne, marked a third breach in 18 months, which triggered two suspension points and a one-match ban meaning he will miss the Brisbane Test that starts this week.

Warne, Australia's leading wicket taker in Test cricket, would have had Pattinson in his line-up.

"It's disappointing, I'd pencilled him in for the first Test," Warne told reporters. 

"I thought he was okay in the Ashes, not at his best, but he did a good job. I still think he's in our best three fast bowlers, though, when he's at his best.

"So, really disappointed to lose him before the Gabba, I think that would have suited him. [Josh] Hazlewood and [Pat] Cummins pick themselves, they're as good as anybody in the world those two, and then Pattinson I thought with Nathan Lyon is such a fantastic combination, there's so much variety and just relentless pressure with those three. 

"It's a huge loss. It probably means Mitchell Starc will play, he's in good form as well. It's great to have those competition for spots - because it's not easy you don't just pencil in 'this is who we've got', we've got choices.

"It's probably the first time in a while we've had choices with fast bowlers, first time we've got choices with batsmen - so I think Australian cricket is in pretty good shape, I thought they did well in England."

Australia are about to embark on a home summer having spent much of the year in England for the Cricket World Cup and the Ashes.

A run to the World Cup semi-finals was followed by the tourists retaining the urn in a drawn 2-2 series and Warne feels the side have decent form.

"I was disappointed to lose the last [group] game against South Africa in the World Cup, I reckon if we'd have beaten South Africa and ended up on top and played New Zealand it could have been a different World Cup," he added. 

"It would have been nice to win 3-1 in the Ashes, I thought we deserved to win that rather than 2-2, but a fantastic English summer for the Aussies, World Cup semi-final and retaining the urn was pretty good so they're in good form leading into first Test match."

On the make-up of the squad, Warne was surprised to see Cameron Bancroft selected after he made just 44 runs across two matches in the Ashes but was happy on the whole.

"I would have liked to see Marcus Harris included, I thought he deserved another chance, he's been in pretty good form," Warne said.

"Joe Burns, I like that selection. A little surprised with Cameron Bancroft being in the squad. Whether he gets the nod we'll have to wait and see, a little surprised after his form against England."

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