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The Australian cricketing community is reeling after hearing that Aussie legend Shane Warne had passed away unexpectedly. The King of the Spin was a national treasure and universally loved and respected by cricketing pundits all over the globe.
Australia has been mourning over the weekend after it emerged that much-loved cricket star Shane Warne had passed away after a heart attack. It was a dark weekend for the sport, and Australia, as the legendary leg-spin bowler tragically passed away just hours after paying tribute to cricketing icon Rod Marsh, who died following a heart attack on the same day.
Warne was one of the much-loved cricket players that transcended an entire generation in Australia, and his legendary performances will still be passed down to ensure his legacy lives on forever.
Shane Warne is an instantly recognisable figure to any Australian or sports fan, especially those with a passion for cricket. The right-handed leg-spin bowler revolutionised the game during his career, as he showcased that spin could still be a destructive bowling weapon in an era when pace bowling was dominant. His performances on the pitch saw him take over 1,000 wickets in Test and ODI fixtures, and his 708 wickets in Test action was the record for most taken by any bowler before the record was broken in 2007.
His reputation as one of the greatest bowlers in cricketing history remains assured, and his performances were honoured when he was named as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Century. In achieving that feat, he was the only specialist bowler to be named, and also the only player that was still playing at the time of the announcement.
When people think about Warne, they will immediately be brought to think fondly about his performances on the pitch. He made his international Test match debut in 1992 for Australia against India and went on to take 708 Test wickets and 1,000 across the codes. His performances saw the national side reach new heights, and was honoured by being named the Wisden leading Cricketer in the World on two occasions.
As well as bowling prowess, he was also a useful low order batsman and scored over 3,000 runs during his test career. His best score came when hitting 99, which means that he remains the highest run-scorer in Test history not to have scored a century. As well as playing internationally, Warne also played for his home state of Victoria in Australia and represented Hampshire in England. He was captain of the latter of the teams for three years.
Warne also played in the IPL, and was part of the inaugural-season winning team with the Rajasthan Royals. He announced his retirement from international cricket back in 2007 after a dominant victory over England in the Ashes. However, his career wasn’t without controversy. His colourful personal life was reflected in his larger than life personality.
However, his reputation as one of the finest cricketers that have ever lived was assured. He was named in Australia’s greatest ODI team and also in the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack Test World XI. His achievements were also honoured by being inducted into both the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and Cricket Australia Hall of Fame.
After retiring from the sport, Warne continued to be involved in cricket as he worked as a pundit for some of the leading broadcasters of the sport. He was a regular commentator on Australia’s Nine Network coverage. Warne first tried his hand at punditry when serving a one-year ban in 2003, and offered excellent insight to viewers surrounding the best ways to bowl and bat in some of the world’s most important games.
He was a regular part of the Nine network from between 2008 right up until they lost the broadcasting rights in 2018. Warne was also a much-loved figure in the commentary box in the United Kingdom, as he worked with Sky Sports from 2009 up until his death. He also worked with Fox Cricket from 2018.
Warne has also been involved in many other media appearances. He was a regular captain on A Question of Sport and conducted interviews on the Nine Networks series called ‘Warnie’. During that series, he would talk to a range of celebrities, including Ricky Ponting, Chris Martin and James Packer. Earlier this year, a documentary focused on his life titled ‘Shane: King of Spin’ was released.
As is the case with all sports stars, even when they have retired, the competitive instinct is still there. That was very much the case for Warne, and that led him into a career of playing poker playing in the World Series of Poker. On his website, he explained that his love of poker was due to the intensity of the big stage.
Warne had the chance to play in some huge events, as part of his deal to sign with 888Poker. He remained with casino giants from January 2008 until January 2015. The global giant was quick to pay homage to the star on social media after the news broke, and praised his ‘energy, inspiring presence and passion’. Throughout his poker career, he won $161,325 in tournament cash from 18 events.
A host of globally recognised celebrities were quick to pay homage to the cricketing legend after the news broke. Among those were musical legend Sir Elton John, who called Warne a ‘magical bowler and such fun’. Tributes to Shane have been flooding in. His ex-fiance Liz Hurley called him her beloved lionheart. Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.
The PM also announced that a state funeral had been offered to the family, which was subsequently accepted to allow the people of Australia to pay their respects to a true sporting legend.
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