Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne would have turned 53 on this day (September 13th, 2023) had he been alive. The Victorian was arguably the greatest leg-spinner to take the field and is currently the second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with a staggering 708 victims. He was also named one of the five Wisden leading cricketers of the century.
An overview of Shane Warne's Test career:
Warne made his debut against India at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground in 1992, but had a forgettable outing. The spin wizard's first Test wicket was Ravi Shastri, but that turned out to be his only scalp in the match as he finished with figures of 45-7-150-1. The late cricketer took match-winning figures of 23.2-8-52-7 in the Boxing Day Test against the West Indies in 1992, giving himself a new lifeline.
However, the turning point of his career came during the 1993 Ashes series in England when Warne produced what is called 'ball of the century' to get rid of Mike Gatting at Old Trafford. He took a record 71 scalps in the year 1993. The wrist-spinner's 150th Test scalp was Alec Stewart, coming in the 1994-95 Ashes series.
One of the highlights of the Victorian's career was also the 2005 Ashes series. Although Australia lost a hard-fought series, Warne was comfortably the highest wicket-taker, claiming 40 scalps at 19.92 in 10 innings. He took his 700th wicket in the next Ashes series (2006-07) on his home ground MCG and the scalp was that of Andrew Strauss. Warne signed off from Test cricket after the home Ashes series and his final victim was Andrew Flintoff.
He was also an accomplished Test batter and holds the unique record of scoring the most runs without a hundred (3154 runs).
Shane Warne's ODI career:
Warne had a couple of fruitful ODI World Cup campaigns. The Victorian took 12 scalps in 7 matches at 21.91 and maintained an economy rate of 3.83. He was central to Australia's victory in the following edition, claiming 20 wickets in 10 innings at 18.05.
Moreover, he was the Player of the Match in the final against Pakistan, picking up figures of 9-1-33-4 as Australia won by 8 wickets. In all, he starred in 145 ODIs, snaring 293 victims.
Shane Warne's IPL career:
Warne was the coach and captain of the Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2008 and led them to an extraordinary title win that season. He went on to play in the tournament until 2011 and took 57 scalps in 55 matches at 25.39.
He passed away on March 4th in Thailand due to a heart attack.