Shane Warne

Former Australian test cricketer

His ball that baffled Mike Gatting in 1993, bouncing outside leg stump and cuffing off, is unanimously esteemed the most famous in history.

From his test Debut in 1992 against India. Shane Keith Warne has left a mighty footfrint on the game of cricket. He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1994, One-Day International Player of the Year  2000, Selected as one of five Wisden cricketers of the century, 2000 and Test Player of the Year - 2006

A world class leg spin bowler and right hand batsmen, Warne can spin the ball sometimes almost at right angles.  

When Warne likened his life to a soap opera, he was selling himself short. He took a Test hat-trick, won the Man-of-the-Match prize in a World Cup final and was the subject of seven books. He was the first cricketer to reach 700 Test wickets. He swatted more runs than any other Test player without making a hundred, and was probably the wiliest captain Australia never had.

For all that, Warne's greatest feats are perhaps those of the last couple of years of his career. Returning in 2004 from a 12-month hiatus, he swept aside 26 Sri Lankan batsmen in three Tests, and the following year scalped a world record 96 victims - a stunning 24 more than in his show-stopping 1993. Forty of those were Englishmen in what sometimes appeared to be a lone stand in a thrilling Ashes series.

At the end he was helped by his stockpile of straight balls: a zooter, slider, toppie and back-spinner, one that drifted in and one that sloped out.. More than ever though, he relied on his two oldest friends: excruciating accuracy and an exquisite legbreak, except that he controlled the degree of spin - and mixed it - at will.

Like the great classical painters, Shane Warne stumbled upon the art of simplicity. His bowling was never simpler, nor more effective, nor lovelier to look at.

Warne retired at the end of the 2006-07 Ashes series when he achieved his final goal, the reclaiming of the urn.