Saturday, September 29, 2012

Shane Warne: Best Spin Ever

Shane Keith Warne (born 13 September 1969) is a former Australian international cricketer widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game. In 2000, he was selected by a panel of cricket experts as one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Century, the only specialist bowler selected in the quintet and the only one still playing at the time. He is also a cricket commentator and a professional poker player. Warne played his first Test match in 1992, and took over 1000 international wickets (in Tests and One-Day Internationals), second to this milestone after Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan. Warne's 708 Test wickets was the record for the most wickets taken by any bowler in Test cricket, until it was also broken by Muralitharan on 3 December 2007. 

A useful lower-order batsman, Warne also scored over 3000 Test runs, and he holds the record for most Test runs without a century. His career was plagued by scandals off the field; these included a ban from cricket for testing positive for a prohibited substance, charges of bringing the game into disrepute by accepting money from bookmakers, and sexual indiscretions. As well as the Australian National Cricket Team, he also played Australian domestic cricket for his home state of Victoria, and English domestic cricket for Hampshire. 

He was captain of Hampshire for three seasons, from 2005 to 2007. He retired from international cricket in January 2007, at the end of Australia's 5–0 Ashes series victory over England. Three other players integral to the Australian team at the time, Glenn McGrath, Damien Martyn and Justin Langer, also retired from Tests at the same time which led some, including the Australian captain, Ricky Ponting, to declare it the "end of an era". Following his retirement from international cricket, Warne played a full season at Hampshire in 2007. He had been scheduled to appear in the 2008 English cricket season, but in late March 2008 he announced his retirement from playing first-class cricket in order to be able to spend more time pursuing interests outside of cricket. 

In March 2008, Warne signed to play in the Indian Premier League for the Jaipur team, Rajasthan Royals in the first edition of the tournament, where he played the roles of both captain and coach. He led his team to victory against the Chennai Super Kings in a cliffhanger of a final match on 1 June 2008. 

Ban from cricket (2003) 

In February 2003, a day before the start of the World Cup, Warne was sent home after a drug test during a one-day series in Australia returned a positive result for a banned diuretic.Warne claimed that he took only one of what he called a "fluid tablet" – the prescription drug Moduretic – given to him by his mother to improve his appearance. 

A committee established by the Australian Cricket Board found Warne guilty of breaching the Board's drug code, and imposed a one-year ban from organised cricket. At the time, Warne took the view that the ban imposed would lengthen his Test playing career. That Warne was allowed to play in charity matches while serving his one year ban was criticised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) although WADA, in turn, was criticised by Warne for interfering in the matter. 

During his suspension, Warne was hired by the Nine Network, Australia's main free-to-air cricket broadcaster, as a commentator. During the winter of 2003, he worked for the St Kilda Australian rules football club in an unpaid consultancy role, after the Australian Football League disallowed him from holding an official club position because of his drugs ban. 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.

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