To many, Shane Warne is the greatest spinner to have played cricket. The Australian legend is definitely the most successful leg-spinner to have played the game, the man who made who made the art great again.
With 708 wickets from 145 Tests – the first player to reach the milestone of 700 wickets – to go with his 293 ODI wickets from 194 matches, he certainly has the numbers of an all-time great.
But it’s not just his success that defines his impact on the game but the wow-factor he brought to leg-spin bowling as part of the one of the best cricket teams of all times – Steve Waugh’s Australia – that makes him a legend.
He was the star of Australia’s 1999 World Cup triumph, which was the start of the team’s world domination. Warne’s 9-1-33-4 in the final of the 1999 World Cup history, that shot down Pakistan for 132, is still one of the best bowling performances in a final. In the match before, his spell of 10-4-29-4 against South Africa in the tied semi-final is even more iconic in cricket history.
But perhaps the most memorable Shane Warne moment is the one that has gone down in history as “the ball of the century”. In his first ball in the Ashes, the then 23-year-old sent down a stunner to dismiss England great Mike Gatting.
The blond cricketer was not far from controversies, both in his on-field and off-field actions, but with the ball in hand, you were sure he would deliver. From the drama round his 600th Test wicket to becoming the first player to 700 wickets, Warne was always an entertainer.
To mark his 50th birthday, Cricket Australia compiled a list of his 50 best wickets on home soil. Enjoy the best of ‘Spin King’.