Shane Warne

Shane Warne, Australian cricket legend and professional poker player


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Shane Warne holds the poker cards for 888 poker

Warnie made the successful transition from cricket to professional poker, and that's no spin! In 2008 some of Warne's mates got in on the action including the former Australian boxing champion, Jeff Fenech.

Shane Warne and Bessie Bardot - publicity stunt for Messages On Hold

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Shane retires! Thanks for the memories Shane Warne - 20th December 2006

Shane Keith Warne (born 13 September 1969 in Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, Australia), is an Australian cricketer and the current captain of Hampshire. He is generally regarded as the greatest leg-spin bowler in cricket history.

Warne retired from international cricket in January 2007, following Australia's 5-0 Ashes series victory over England. Two other players integral to the Australian team of recent years, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer, also retired from Tests on the same day which led some, including the Australian captain, to declare it the end of an era. Warne will continue to play for Hampshire for another two years, honouring a previously signed contract.

In 2000, he was selected by a panel of cricket experts as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century. Warne despite being plagued by scandals off the field throughout his playing career (one such accusation was that he begged a woman for sex), has — since October 2004 — held the record for the most wickets taken by any bowler in Test cricket. On 26 December 2006 he became the first bowler to take 700 Test wickets, making him the most successful bowler in the history of Test cricket. He retired with 708 Test wickets. On 3 January 2007, he achieved the milestone of 1000 international wickets (combined total from tests and one-day internationals) by claiming the wicket of Monty Panesar LBW during the 5th test of the 2006-07 Ashes series. He was the second bowler to reach this milestone after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan. He is also 3rd on the all time list for ducks and has scored the most runs of any Test cricketer without making a century.

Warne made his first-class cricket debut on 15 February 1991, taking 0/61 and 1/41 for Victoria against Western Australia at the Junction Oval in Melbourne also sleeping with all female staff that were on the oval and officials. Warne was then selected in the Australia B team which toured Zimbabwe in September 1991. His best performance was 7/52 in a four-day match. Upon returning to Australia, he took 3/14 and 4/42 for Australia A against the West Indies in December 1991. The incumbent spinner in the Australian Test Team, Peter Taylor, had taken only one wicket in the first two tests, so Warne was brought into the team for the Third Test against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground a week later. He is now regarded with affection worldwide as the "Murali of Melbourne"

He had an undistinguished Test debut, taking 1/150 (Ravi Shastri caught by Dean Jones for 206) off 45 overs, and recording figures of 1/228 in his first Test series. His poor return continued in the first innings against Sri Lanka at Colombo in the next year, in which he recorded 0/107. However, a spell of 3/11 in the second innings contributed to a remarkable Australian win and arguably saved his Test position. He solidified his Test position when he took 7/52 in a match winning performance against the West Indies in the 1992/93 series in Melbourne.

Despite the inauspicious start to his Test career, he has since revolutionised cricket thinking with his mastery of leg spin, which many cricket followers had come to regard as a dying art, due to its immense difficulty of execution. For all his wickets and on-pitch (and off-pitch) controversies, Warne's place in cricketing posterity is assured by the fact that he has overturned the domination of cricket by fast bowling that prevailed for two decades before his debut. Despite the presence of high quality spin bowlers such as Abdul Qadir on the Test scene, Australia's fast bowlers Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson had dominated cricket in the early 1970s; while from 1976 until the early 1990s, the West Indies had lost only one (ill-tempered and controversial) Test series with a bowling attack almost exclusively comprising fast bowlers. In the early 1990s, with the West Indies on the wane, Waqar Younis and Wasim Akram of Pakistan were assuming the mantle of the world's most feared bowlers. It was in that context that Warne's tormenting of batsmen became so significant, rather than his actual statistics. His humiliation of Gatting and subsequent hold on - in particular - English and South African batsmen provided a welcome sight for cricket watchers weary of the relentless intimidation by West Indian bowlers of the 1980s and 1990s. His treatment of South African batsman Daryl Cullinan was such that Cullinan was said to have sought the help of a therapist to overcome Warne's psychological hold.

Warne combined the ability to turn the ball prodigiously, even on unhelpful pitches, with unerring accuracy and a wide variation of deliveries (notable among these being the flipper). Gideon Haigh, the Australian jounalist, said of Warne upon his retirement, "It was said of Augustus that he found Rome brick and left it marble: the same is true of Warne and spin bowling."

Many of his most spectacular performances have occurred in Ashes series against England, whose players' inexperience against leg spin bowling made them particularly vulnerable. However, with feats like the famous "Gatting Ball", otherwise known as the "Ball of the Century" which spun sharply and bowled a bemused Mike Gatting in the 1993 Ashes series, most of the credit is Warne's. Conversely, he has struggled against India, particularly the great Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar: his bowling average against India is a poor 47.18 runs per wicket, compared with his overall average of less than 26.

Warne has been highly effective bowling in one-day cricket, something few other leg spin bowlers have managed. He also captained Australia on several occasions in one-day internationals, winning ten matches and losing only one. Warne had intended to retire from ODI cricket at the end of the 2003 World Cup: as it transpired, his last game for Australia was in January 2003. However, he did appear for the ICC World XI for the Tsunami benefit match in 2005.

In March 2004, he became the second cricketer, after Courtney Walsh of the West Indies, to take 500 Test wickets. He broke the record for most career wickets in Test cricket on 15 October 2004 during the Second Test against India at Chennai, overtaking his great spin bowling rival, Muttiah Muralitharan of Sri Lanka. On 11 August 2005 at Old Trafford, in the Third Ashes Test, he became the first bowler in history to take 600 Test wickets. In 2005, he also broke the record for the number of wickets in a calendar year, with 96 wickets. Warne's ferocious competitiveness was a feature of the 2005 Ashes series, when he took 40 wickets at an average of 19.92 and scored 249 runs.

Warne is also noted for his exuberant (and sometimes effective) lower-order batting, once famously being dismissed for 99 with a reckless shot on what was later shown to be a no ball. In fact, of all Test cricketers Warne has scored the most Test runs without having scored a century, with two scores in the nineties being his best efforts. Warne is also third overall on the most international test ducks. In 2006 Warne and Glenn McGrath reportedly lost a bet of which bowler would be the first to get a Test century with fellow Australian bowler Jason Gillespie after Gillespie scored a record double-century as a nightwatchman against Bangladesh.

Warne is also a useful slip fielder. He has taken this role on a full-time basis since his shoulder injury. Slip fielding requires quick hands but not much throwing, and hence is ideal for the post-injury Warne. He has performed well in this role and is currently seventh in the list of most catches as a fielder in test cricket.

Warne began the 2006/2007 Ashes campaign with an indifferent test in Brisbane and a poor first innings showing — his worst figures ever, in fact — at Adelaide. However, his second innings heroics, including bowling Kevin Pietersen around the legs, triggered England's fifth-day collapse and Australia's historic victory. Warne again bowled well in the second innings in the third Test, and took the final wicket of Monty Panesar as Australia regained the Ashes.

Just days after these events, on 21 December 2006 Warne announced his retirement, which came into effect after the fifth Ashes Test match at the SCG. (He will honour his contract with Hampshire but will play no further competitive cricket within or for Australia). He became the first cricketer to reach the 700-wicket milestone in his second last test, on Boxing Day 2006. Warne said that it was his intention to "go out on top," adding that he might have retired after the 2005 Ashes series, had Australia won. Commentators Tony Greig and Mike Gatting were interviewed immediately after this announcement and both expressed surprise and sadness on hearing this news which was by now spinning around the world. Warne achieved his 700th test wicket at 3.18pm on 26 December 2006[6] (AEST) by bowling English batsman Andrew Strauss out at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the final time Warne will play professionally at that ground. This was the first occasion that a player had taken 700 career wickets. The wicket was described as a "classic Warne dismissal" to which the crowd of 89,155 gave a standing ovation.

In the last match of the 2006 Ashes Series at the SCG, Sydney spectators bade him farewell in his very last Test match, just as they witnessed his Test debut on 2 January 1992. Thus, a career spanning exactly 15 years ended where it all began.

In this final Test, Warne ended England's first innings by trapping Monty Panesar lbw for a duck and his 1000th total international wicket. His final Test wicket was the key wicket of Andrew Flintoff, stumped by Adam Gilchrist near the end of Day 3.

Warnes' 5 Deliveries
Shane Warne has in his repertoire:

- Leg Spinner
- Wrong un' (Googly)
- Back Spinner
- Zooter (super back spinner)
- Top Spinner

Despite nearly universal recognition of Warne's talents, his reputation with fans and cricket authorities is mixed, owing to a succession of intemperate actions in both his professional and his private life.

In 1998, Warne admitted that he and Mark Waugh had taken money from a man known only as John, who was later discovered to be operating with bookmakers. The money was stated to be for pitch and weather reports.

Charged with bringing the game into disrepute
Warne was charged with bringing the game into disrepute in 1999 following his comments about the Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga. On the eve of the World Cup Warne said "Sri Lanka and the game overall would be better off without him...I don't like him and I'm not in a club of one."

Positive test for banned substance
In February 2003, just prior to the start of the 2003 Cricket World Cup, Warne was sent home after a drug test during the one-day series in Australia earlier in the year returned a positive result for a banned diuretic.

Warne initially claimed that he took only one of what he called a "fluid tablet" – the prescription drug Moduretic — on David Stretton's suggestion, in an attempt to improve his appearance (Warne has battled weight problems throughout his career). Warne claimed ignorance of the banned nature of the tablet he took, as well as much of the drug policy of the Australian Cricket Board (despite extensive briefings on the matter in the past). It should however be noted that this drug is a known masking agent for anabolic steroids, and many accused Warne of using the banned substances to recover from a shoulder injury which had side-lined him at the time.

Charged with using "a prohibited method to enhance performance", Warne faced a two-year ban from cricket if found guilty. Considerable pressure was placed on the panel considering his case by Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, who in comments described by the head of the Australian Sports Drug Agency as "highly inappropriate," poured scorn on Warne's excuse and stated that Australian sport was well-known for accusing others of cheating but was considerably less enthusiastic about prosecuting its own. Pound's comments were at least partly endorsed by sportspeople such as former Olympic swimming champion Kieren Perkins, who expressed concern that a lenient verdict would make a mockery of Australia's stand against drugs in sport.

In the end, the panel found Warne guilty of breaching the ACB's drug code, and imposed a one-year ban. It was further revealed, and confirmed by Warne in a subsequent television interview, that he had actually taken two of the pills. Warne's testimony, and that of his mother, was described by the panel as "vague and inconsistent". The panel decided against imposing the full two-year ban because the drug would have had no performance-enhancing effect, there was no evidence that Warne used the diuretic to mask steroid use, and medical opinion stated that steroids would not have enhanced Warne's recovery from a shoulder injury he had suffered several weeks earlier, or assisted his game in any case. A disappointed Warne initially considered appealing, but decided against it, as several people, including Pound, pointed out that the penalty could have been increased if an appeal was made.

During his suspension, he considered working for the St Kilda Australian rules football club as an assistant coach, before the Australian Football League told the club that it would be inappropriate to have somebody suspended for a drug offence advising its players. He also received invitations to play in various celebrity "park cricket" teams, and the newly renamed Cricket Australia reversed its decision on whether Warne, as a contracted player, should be allowed to play in such matches. He also became a TV commentator for Channel 9 in Australia during this time.

Personal life
Warne has 3 children - Brooke, Summer and Jackson with his ex-wife Simone Callahan.

Marital infidelities
Warne's private life has been beset by scandals and subjected to scrutiny by British tabloid newspapers. He came under criticism for text messaging a woman whilst on tour in South Africa, accused of sending lewd and harassing messages. However, the woman who made the claims (Helen Cohen Alon) was subsequently charged with extortion in her own country.

Further allegations of Warne having extra-marital affairs broke in 2005 as Australia began its tour of England in preparation for The Ashes. On 25 June 2005, Warne and his wife Simone Callahan announced that they had decided to separate.

On 7 May 2006, the News of the World tabloid newspaper published pictures of Warne standing in his underpants with a pair of 25-year-old models, as well as explicit text messages allegedly from Warne.

Endorsements and off-field earnings
Warne's off-field indiscretions cost him various corporate endorsements and offers. On 13 July 2005, Australia's Nine Network announced it would not renew Warne's commentating contract, worth around AU$300,000 annually. Warne had previously been seen as a future member of the Nine cricket commentary team, and had done commentary work during his one-year ban from cricket in 2003.

Warne has had much negative media publicity due to his affairs. He has often been the subject of parodies and jokes and has even had a number of songs written about his exploits: "Horny Warnie" by Horny Warnie and the Whites, which received some airplay in Australia; "The Shane Warne Song", by Kevin Bloody Wilson, "Shane Warne (There's a Brand New Aussie Legend)", by The Handsome Young Strangers, and most recently, a tribute/retirement song simply titled "Warney", by Dicks with Chicks, a play on words using Green Day's song "Warning".

He also does promotional work for hair-loss-recovery company Advanced Hair. This matter was investigated by the British Advertising Standards Authority in relation to an illegal celebrity endorsement of medical services.

Warne has also endorsed the Codemaster video games Shane Warne Cricket and Shane Warne Cricket '99. Outside Australia these were known as Brian Lara Cricket and Brian Lara Cricket '99.

Warne has indulged his passion for cars. He has owned two Ferraris: he purchased a 355 Spider in 1996, and in 2001 he bought a 360 Spider in titanium, with red interior. At that time he had six cars - the Ferrari, two Mercedes four-wheel drives, two BMWs and a Holden VK Commodore. However, after his separation he sold his collection, and now owns a BMW X5 in Australia, and rents a Mercedes E55 AMG in England

He was chosen as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year for 1994.
In 2000, Warne was named by a 100-member panel of experts as the fourth of five Wisden Cricketers of the Century. Warne received 27 votes, behind Sir Donald Bradman (100 votes), Sir Garfield Sobers (90 votes), and Sir Jack Hobbs (30 votes). Sir Viv Richards took the fifth place, with 25 votes. He is the only Wisden Cricketer of the Century who has not been knighted.
Warne is one of the four Australian cricketers to have been named in "Richie Benaud's Greatest XI" in 2004 (Don Bradman, Dennis Lillee and Adam Gilchrist are the others).
In 2005 he was named as winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality for his performance in the 2005 Ashes.
Warne appeared on the 6th and 7th July episode of the popular Australian soap Neighbours on behalf of his charitable foundation.
In 2006 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Southampton Solent University for services to cricket.
He is a huge fan of the St Kilda Football Club and wanted to play with them when he was younger (he played in their 2nd's side).
Former Australian Test Cricket captain Kim Hughes described Warne as the "Donald Bradman of bowling" following the announcement of Warne's intention to retire.
He is only one of 4 Australian cricketers to have his portrait hang in the Long Room at Lords, the others being Victor Trumper, Sir Donald Bradman and Keith Miller. He is also the only one to have it hanging while he was still playing.

Test wicket milestones
1st: Ravi Shastri (India)
50th: Nasser Hussain (England)
100th: Brian McMillan (South Africa)
150th: Alec Stewart (England)
200th: Chaminda Vaas (Sri Lanka)
250th: Alec Stewart (England)
300th: Jacques Kallis (South Africa)
350th: Hrishikesh Kanitkar (India)
400th: Alec Stewart (England)
450th: Ashwell Prince (South Africa)
500th. Hashan Tillakaratne (Sri Lanka)
550th: James Franklin (New Zealand)
600th: Marcus Trescothick (England)
650th: Ashwell Prince (South Africa)
700th: Andrew Strauss (England)
708th: Andrew Flintoff (England)


As author or co-author

Shane Warne: My illustrated career Book coverShane Warne: My Official Illustrated Career by Richie Benaud and Shane Warne (Cassell, 2006) ISBN
The Complete Shane Warne by Ken Piesse (Viking, 2001) ISBN
Shane Warne: My own story by Shane Warne and Mark Ray (Bookman Projects, 1997) ISBN

Spun Out: Shane Warne the Unauthorised Biography of a Cricketing Genius by Paul Barry (Bantam Press, 2006) ISBN
Shane Warne: My Autobiography (Coronet Books, 2002) ISBN ((Audiobook)Audio Cassette: Hodder & Stoughton Audio Books, 2001 ISBN) (Hardcover: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd, 2001 ISBN)

Boris Johnson, in his "The Dream of Rome" TV series and book, referred to the statue of Augustus as "arm aloft like Shane Warne doing his flipper, effulgent in marble and larger than life”.
At the 2005 Allan Border Medal award ceremony, it was stated that Shane Warne's highest Test score of 99 ended when he was dismissed by a delivery from Daniel Vettori that should have been signalled a no ball. Had it been signalled, Shane Warne would have registered his maiden Test century, as he had crossed with batting partner Glenn McGrath before he was caught and would have scored a run.
He is a huge fan of the St Kilda Football Club and wanted to play with them when he was younger (he played in their 2nd's side).

Poetry about Shane Warne
Come Shane By Victoria Coverdale (Make Jam Press, 2006) ISBN (Credit: Wikipedia)


Dial S for Shane

Mediaman advises that the following is a humorous article on Shane Warne, and has nothing but respect and admiration for the great Shane Warne. Mediaman was also delighted to have played a part in the Messages On Hold - Markson Sparks - Shane Warne media campaign in late 2005. A public thank you to Shane Warne, Max Markson and Kym Illman for being good sports. Pleasure to do business gentlemen.

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Putting a new spin on an old sales pitch - The Bulletin

Texting trouble sets back Shane Warne's poker career

Dial S for Shane

"He's not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy." So said a high-pitched Terry Jones, Brian's ugly mum of Monty Python's classic Life of Brian. And this line could so well apply to the man with the versatile fingers: six ounces of leather in one gifted hand and mobile in the risqué other. Shane Keith Warne.

His arrival on the turf was limp. In 1992, Ravi Shastri the Indian allrounder, now TV commentator, smacked Warne's debut deliveries to all parts of the Sydney Cricket Ground. Twas an ordinary beginning. And so was Bradman's. The Don responded and so did Warne. His resolve stiffened and so did his confidence and results.

For over a decade, the West Indians had dominated cricket and boy did they send down a mean ball. Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Colin Croft, Andy Roberts, Wayne Daniel, Courtney Walsh. The right-armed missiles from these destroyers sank the opposition and almost drowned the game in a sea of bouncers. Over rates were abysmal. Test matches were dreary affairs. Five days of fast bowlers slowly drudging to their long mark tested the patience of the yawning public. Calypso crowds excepted; they cheered alone.

And then along he came.

His skills were a revelation. Traditionalists craving for the revival of the almost lost art of wrist spin likened his arrival to that of the messiah. Hallelujah! The ball spat and spun and turned and bounced and fizzed. A joy to watch. He was (and still is) a rare cricketing beast. Theodolitic accurate with ability to turn the leather a foot. Unheard of. The purists loved him and so did an admiring legion of new fans drawn to his blonde haired magnetism, larrinkin charisma and ripsnorting flipper. Of course, the bewildered bats trying to combat the magical array of spinning tricks vehemently tried to block his popularity. Most failed. Just ask Daryl Cullinan.

The world was at SK Warne's white boots.

World's have been known to crumble. The hordes from the north finally breached the walls of Rome, Nazi Germany was sandwiched under the combined armies of the east and west, and The British Empire once a global superpower is now a puppet of the Bush administration. Each rose and fell. And so has Shane.

Having conquered the game and the spectators, he couldn't conquer himself. A sequence of accusations and wrong doings has tainted his name. His messiah image, long since lost in the desert of indiscretion, now appears ready for crucifixion.

Hard on the high heels of a goodnight-kiss-seeking Brisbane teenager and "hairy-backed" (nice one Hookesy) South African mum, a Melbourne dancer has thrown her harrassed hat into the all-comers ring. And there's more. Fuelling the growing flame, a former Australian Cricket Board marketing employee revealed the leg spinner's behaviour precipitated almost daily public complaints. Barely standing, has this last hit found the chin and sent a targeted Warne to the canvas of cricket oblivion? Further punches?

I met the man once. It was mid 1990's and I was wetting the lips at a Coogee pub. The blonde bamboozler, one of the biggest names in Australian cricket was sinking a few ales too. Unlike many of this country's sporting fraternity - staccato-mouthed fighters full of self-promotion, retired boxers full of lip and always with entourage, scores of rugby league first graders and red headed commentators take note - his ego wasn't floating in the clouds. Down-to-earth, likeable and approachable, well behaved and unassuming, Warne came across as a decent bloke.

Sadly, the recent finger pointing suggests otherwise.

Nietzsche said it right: "Truth is ugly." If the truth does surface and if the sexual allegations are solid then we all know who's been a very naughty boy, don't we.

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