Melbourne: Australian spin legend Shane Warne says the success that came with his ‘ball of the century’ in 1993 split him into two people and his habit of living in the moment without thinking about consequences often landed him in trouble which embarrassed his family.
Success and controversies chased Warne in equal measure in his career. He was banned for 12 months in 2003 for doping and missed the World Cup but went on to become one of the greatest leg-spinners the game has ever produced.
He said the success that followed his 1993 ripping ‘ball of the century’ with which he bowled Mike Gatting had massive influence on his life.
“I was 23 when that happened. I remember going to the Windmill Pub in London, we were staying at the Westbury Hotel 100 yards up the road… and I went for a pint with Merv (Hughes),” he says.
“And when I came out there was, without a word of a lie, probably 25-30 photographers just taking pictures. The next day was about ‘Shane Warne was at the pub’. I was getting critiqued about what I was wearing, I had ‘10 things you don’t know about Shane Warne’ and I’m reading it going, ‘that’s not true, I didn’t know that about me!’”
The 50-year-old opened up about past controversies in episode four of A Week With Warnie on Fox Cricket. Warne said he was baffled with the way media handled stories about him, often untrue.
“I didn’t really understand how it worked when I had to read these things about myself that weren’t true which was quite tough to take,” he says.
“You don’t want to spend your life worrying about that stuff, but I did. I worried. I was like, ‘that’s not what I’m like’. So I found that I didn’t understand how it (the media) worked and I resented it.”
He admitted that he behaved in “a sort of arrogant, pretty ordinary fashion all the time.”
“I live in the moment so sometimes you don’t think about the consequences and that was probably most of my trouble. I didn’t think what the consequences were or what effect it would have on other people.
“It was a selfish thing. I did what I wanted to do, and that got me into a bit of trouble,” Warne said.
“I’m not proud of all of my decisions. I made some horrible mistakes and choices with things. But I was always true to myself and that’s what I’m proud of today. Some of the things were really hard to take. I let my family down, I embarrassed my children … but that’s something I have to live with.”
But Warne does not have any remorse in life. “But for all of those bad choices I’ve also been very proud of all the good things I’ve done. I’ve done a lot of good things but sometimes people like to harp on about the bad things because it’s a better headline.”