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Australian cricketer Shane Warne passes away

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There will never be another Shane Warne

Shane Keith Warne, the Australian spin bowling legend, was as enigmatic as a sportsperson could be. A true artist with a ball in hand, a fierce competitor on the cricket field and a bit of a maverick off it. The leg-spinner went from one career high to another and the controversies followed him all along. Warne’s rise to superstardom began with his very first delivery in Ashes, cricket’s oldest rivalry. Playing his first Test match against England, Warne clean bowled veteran batter Mike Gatting with a delivery hitherto unseen on a cricket field. It was 4th June 1993, the second day of the first Ashes Test at Old Trafford in Manchester, when Warne managed to get a ball to pitch outside the leg stump, and the vicious turn on the cherry took it past Gatting’s bat and clipped the top of the off stump. That delivery has since come to be known as the “Ball of the Century”.

Warne ended the match with 8 wickets to claim the “man of the match” award. He would end the series as the highest wicket-taker with 34 scalps and that started his rise to cricketing immortality, as Australia bulldozed England for more than a decade in Test cricket. Warne, who ended his spell-binding international career in 2007, died from a suspected heart attack.

Warne’s rise to stardom coincided with Australia replacing West Indies as the dominant force in world cricket. Warne and Australia’s dominance reached its crescendo in the 1999 ICC World Cup as he picked up 4 wickets each in the semi-final and final to guide the Steve Waugh-led team to the world title, Australia’s second.

Achievements of Shane Warne

Warne made his international debut against India in a Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in 1992.

Since his debut, the Victoria-born cricketer went on to play 145 Tests and 194 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for Australia. He retired from all forms of cricket in 2007.

Second highest wicket-taker of all-time

Shane Warne claimed 708 Test wickets in 145 matches at an average of 25.41, including 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 ten-wicket hauls. Warne is the second-highest wicket-taker in Tests only behind former Sri Lanka off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan.

The ‘King of Spin’ might have passed, but he will continue to shine bright in the galaxy of cricketing superstars.

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