Bhubaneswar: A maverick in the true sense of the word, a magician on the field and equally colourful off the field! Shane Warne should not simply be judged by his 708 Test wickets and 293 in ODIs. He was far greater than the figures suggest. He revived the dying art of leg-spin and prompted youngsters to emulate him and that made him truly an iconic player in the cricketing fraternity. Australia had never ever before seen a player like him. Why Australia, the world had never ever come across such an influencer in the game of cricket.
What else can you say of a man who ‘bowled the ball of the century’ (when he bowled Mike Gatting in June 1993). It is still called the same in the 21st century. At times cricket took a backseat in Warne’s career. His doping suspensions, scandals kept him in the news always, but Warne always emerged unscathed. He made the ball do all the talking and the ‘Magician of Oz’ will always be remembered for his deeds on the field than off it.
In the end, his heart at the young age of 52 just stopped beating. Warne always had this art of coming up with the unexpected and his demise is equally shocking. Imagine only a few hours back he had tweeted his condolences for Rodney Marsh. Little did he know then that his time had come.
Life like cricket is full of glorious uncertainties. Warne proved it again.