Shane Keith Warne who is largely looked upon as one of the finest leg spin bowlers in cricketing history is a former Australian international cricketer. He is also one of the most popular sports personalities around the world. He is a right-arm leg break wrist spinner and a handy lower order batsman.
In 1992 Warne debuted in Test cricket. In Tests and One day Internationals combined Warne has taken more than 1000 international wickets. After Muttiah Muralitharan, Warne became the second bowler in the world to reach this target.
On 15 February 1991, Warne debuted in first class cricket for Victoria against Western Australia in Melbourne at the Junction Oval. Further, he was chosen in the Australia B team for the tour of Zimbabwe in September 1991.
Warne did not have an impressive Test debut as he took just 1 wicket for 150 runs in 45 overs. This poor form was also seen in the first innings at Colombo against Sri Lanka. He secured his place in the team for the future by taking 7 wickets for 52 runs in Melbourne against the West Indies in 1992/93 which was a match-winning performance.
In the late 1990s Warne came to be known as the God of Spin. Warne was able to turn the ball exceptionally even on pitches that did not assist spin with unfaltering precision. He had many deliveries in his armory such as the Googly (which turns the other way), the flipper (which goes straight and fast) and the top spinner (which climbs onto the batsman). Warne has performed excellently during the Ashes series. A major credit goes to Warne and the “Gatting Ball” that spun sharply to dismiss Mike Gatting during the 1993 Ashes series is very famous. On the other hand Warne has not performed well against India and particularly against Sachin Tendulkar the great Indian batsman. He has a poor bowling average of 47.18 against India while his overall average is less than 26 per wicket.
After Courtney Walsh of the West Indies, Warne became the second cricketer to take 500 Test wickets in March 2004. In the second Test against India at Chennai on 15 October 2004 he overtook Muralitharan of Sri Lanka and created the record for maximum Test wickets. In the third Ashes Test at Old Trafford on 11 August 2004, he crossed the milestone of taking 600 Test wickets and became the first bowler to do so. In 2005, Warne took 96 wickets which was also a record. During the 2005 Ashes series he scored 249 runs and took 40 wickets at an average of 19.92.
Warne became the first player in Test cricket to take 700 wickets on 26 December 2006 at 3:18 pm a feat which he attained at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by bowling Andrew Strauss the English batsman. This wicket is remembered as the “classic Warne dismissal” which got a standing ovation from a crowd of 89,155.
Warne played his final Test in the final match of the 2006 Ashes series at Sydney and a career spread over 15 years terminated at the place where it had begun. In this last test Warne took his 1000th overall international wicket by trapping Monty Panesar lbw for no score. Cricket fans in Australia are still trying hard to bring Warne back to Test cricket after their country’s defeat by an innings in Ashes 2010, as he has been a great Ashes performer for Australia.
Warne was approached and signed by Rajasthan Royals for the Indian Premier League as the captain in 2008. His charismatic and innovative leadership qualities lead Rajasthan Royals to victory in the opening season of the Indian Premiere League. For his excellent work with the team specially the youngsters, he has been retained as the captain of the team for IPL 2011.
- Was one of the five Wisdom Cricketers for the year 1994.
- One-Day International Player of the Year 2000.
- For his excellent performance in the 2005 Ashes he became the winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality.
- In 2006 considering his services to cricket he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Southampton Solent University and also was named the Test Player of the Year.
- In 2007 in the Honor of Warne and Muralitharan, Cricket Australia and Cricket Sri Lanka decided to name Australia- Sri Lanka Test Cricket Series as Warne-Muralitharan Trophy.
- Melbourne Cricket Club has chosen Warne to be felicitated by making his statue outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). It is expected that Warne himself will unveil his statue by the end of 2011.