Essay by Luke Foster
“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in cricket, as once I didn’t think I was good enough.” Shane Warne
Back in late 2001 I travelled for my first adult trip overseas to Southern India. I landed in Chennai and was overcome with the poverty. Homeless children begged in the streets and lived in shanty towns near the train station with their parents. Within the first few days I bought a cheap Indian bicycle and rode out into the villages to look at temples and meet the locals. I went to a village and the children and adults were playing cricket in the street. I asked to join in. The first thing they said to me after I said I was Australian was that :“Shane Warne is a very mighty, mighty cricket player” in their sing song voice and their heads bobbing back and forth in the way they do to accentuate a point. I agreed with them and then enjoyed a vigorously competitive game of street cricket.
This essay is about Shane not me but I wanted to tell this story to show how loved Shane is on the sub-continent not just in Australia. It’s the way the Australian cricketers carry themselves with so much self-respect that leaves the Indians in awe of them.Also many Australian cricketers give much money and moral support to orphanages and charities on the subcontinent. They usually never tell anyone but everyone on the subcontinent hears of their good deeds on the grapevine.
Shane emerged as a cricketer to watch in the eighties and ended up with the best statistics of any Australian bowler and international player as well. However it was the way he approached the game with fierce determination and goodwill that made him so loved.
Last year I think it was he was commentating a game between England and Australia. He recalled a time when he sledged an English player. I think it was Michael Peterson. He said that when he was a player that he had just finished watching the movie American Pie and that Michael Peterson looked like the hilarious character the sherminator. He said that I think it was Michael you’re the sherminator. I think that’s cool as it was a funny sledge not a mean sledge in the spirit of the game. He also joked that the actor who played the sherminator now works as a cocktail waiter in the states.
So for all these reasons and many more Shane Warne will go down in history as the best cricketer ever and the most loved. Even more loved and revered than Don Bradman.
Shane Warne looks very healthy and good for his age.