21/02/2024

Shane Warne was Australia's greatest ever bowler, taking 708 test wickets. (Photo: cricket.com.au)

After the tragic passing of Shane Warne, The Inner Sanctum’s journalists share their favourite Warnie moments paying tribute to one of the all-time great sportsmen

After the tragic passing of Shane Warne, The Inner Sanctum’s journalists pay tribute to one of the all-time great cricketers.

Looking back at some of their favourite moments from the King of Spin whose impact transcended cricket.

Warne brought the glitz and glamour to a game known for tradition and will go down as an Australian sporting legend.

Here’s a collection of some of their favourite Shane Warne moments.

Lachlan Onions

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: Bowling Brendon McCullum around his legs in BBL|01

Being born in the early 2000’s I wasn’t old enough to see Warne at the peak of his powers, however, I did get the opportunity to watch him play live at the Gabba when the Brisbane Heat played host to the Melbourne Stars.

I remember the aura around the ground when Warne began his spell, there was a sense of anticipation, everyone knew it was Warnie’s time. Seeing him dismiss McCullum live remains the only time I’ve ever celebrated a wicket against the team I support.

His masterclass at the Gabba that night had a perennial impact on me as a child. From that moment onwards, I wanted to become a leg spinner and spent countless hours in my backyard attempting to emulate the king. 

To me, he was my hero, someone who I looked up to for many years as I continued playing cricket. However, no matter how long I spent honing the craft, watching hours of Shane Warne footage, I could never match him, a testament that proves there will never be another S.K. Warne.

Rest in Peace King, the world won’t be the same without you.

Oliver Walker-Peel

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: 2005, The Oval

Shane Warne gave so much to the game of cricket, both with ball and microphone in hand. He became the soundtracks of summer afternoons and winter nights after long school days and was brilliant to listen to whenever his tones graced the airwaves.

As an Englishman and a rather patriotic one at that, I recognise that many compatriots of mine despise so many Australian cricketers, particularly due to the fact they seem to batter us every time we face off.

S.K. Warne was different.

While I never saw him roll his arm over in the peak of his powers, it takes someone special for English fans to chant “We only wish you were English” to an Australian, but that’s what eventuated at The Oval during that fabled ‘05 Ashes series.

I second that motion. Rest In Peace Warnie, you legend and thank you for all that you’ve done for the game of cricket.

Thomas Grattan

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: TheBall of The Century 

To me, Shane Warne was someone who transcended cricket. He was everyone’s favourite, from die-hards to casuals.

Even though it occurred years before I was even alive, there is nothing more impressive (in my mind) than the Ball of the Century, Warne’s first wicket off his first ball in the 1993 Ashes series, still to this day the most incredible thing I have ever seen on a cricket pitch. 

Like many people, I had seen this ball many times before throughout the years. Like many people, I watched this ball many times on Friday night, in shock over his sudden and tragic death. Warne’s legacy is a lot like the ball itself, few like it before, few like it since, and a much-deserved place in the history books.

Vale Shane Warne. Thanks for the memories.

Jordan Janssen

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: 1994 Boxing Day Hat Trick

Shane Keith Warne’s impact was someone who transcended cricket. He was much loved by all, from fellow Australians to cricket lovers globally.

Shane Warne was the King of Spin. He made the art of leg-spin something to be marvelled. He was a big reason for me turning myself into a spinner when playing in the backyard. 

I was born in 1999, five years after my favourite Warne moment, but as a Victorian, I can’t go past the hat trick Warnie took on the hallowed turf at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, his home ground.

Watching the footage gives me goosebumps as the crowd’s noise started to grow as they began to see something sensational happen. 

In his second Test at his home ground, Warne firstly removed Phil DeFreitas LBW before removing Darren Gough caught behind.

It all came down to one moment, to send Devon Malcolm on his way, and you can sense the occasion, with men surrounding the batter and as Warne steps in and Malcolm edges it, the miracle hands of David Boon at short leg, sent the MCG crowd into pandemonium.

It was the only hat trick Warne took in his illustrious career, but it provided many people such as myself something spectacular to remember.

Warnie was a player who you could throw the ball to in any situation and could change a game with just a single delivery. His ever-positive mindset drove his teammates in the tough times to pull through.

Vale Shane Warne. I can’t believe you’re gone, taken far, far too soon, and thanks for the amazing memories.

Rest in Peace Spin King

Hugh Maclean

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: Amazing Adelaide, December 2006

Paul Collingwood 206, Kevin Pietersen 158, England 551 for six declared.  Irrespective of the hold Australia had over England at the time, England supporters (myself included), thought that we couldn’t possibly lose this one. 

It is widely held that even within the Australian camp, many thought that the draw was the limit of their ambitions.  However, one man believed.

Unfortunately for England, that man was Shane Keith Warne.

Australia replied with a score of 513 themselves, but by stumps on day four England held a lead of 97 with nine wickets in hand.  Surely an Australian win was off the table, but England had decided on the fifth morning that their tactics would be to play out time. 

This was like a red rag to a bull to the ever-positive Warne, and suddenly he prised out Andrew Strauss.  Ian Bell embarked on a suicidal single, largely as a result of the pressure that was suddenly being applied, before Warne bowled Pietersen around his legs with a viciously spittling leg break. 

Suddenly all the momentum was Australia’s, momentum that was never to be lost as England were despatched for 129 and Australia scored at five per over to effect one of their most famous victories.

Few cricketers could change the course of a match through the sheer strength of their will.  Shane Warne was one such cricketer.  All of us that saw him ply his trade is greater for the experience.

Lachlan Dand

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: Perth, 2001

When Australia took on New Zealand in 2001, the spin king found himself in a situation that he wasn’t known for. He found himself needing to bat to save his country.

With New Zealand posting a monstrous total in the first innings at the WACA, the superstar strode to the crease at number eight, with his country in all sorts of trouble. He’d rescued them before with the ball, but this was a totally new situation.

Shane didn’t let anything phase him, and he treated the WACA like his own backyard, not holding back and taking the New Zealand bowling attack to all parts. Warne was fearless and was having the time of his life out in the middle, and made it seem as though he was batting at 1/300.

Unfortunately, his crash and bash style of play let him down in the end, attempting one too many big shots as he was caught on the boundary for 99, with fellow spinner Daniel Vettori claiming the wicket.

Replays would show it was a no-ball, and if we had the technology we do now, Shane would’ve made one of the greatest centuries the country has ever seen.

However, he made Australia proud once again, producing a marvellous innings as he defined what it meant to be an Australian and how important representing this country really was.

Rest easy, King.

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Ben Lennon

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: 1999 World Cup Semi-Final

The 1999 World Cup semi-final against South Africa epitomised everything that Shane Warne stood for.

Warnie had been in fairly indifferent form in the months leading up to the tournament, was struggling with injury and as always was feeling the full force of media pressure.

Australia made a modest 213 in the first innings and needed a miracle. Luckily, they had a blonde leggie that happened to specialise in just that.

Warne was tossed the ball and got rid of the dangerous Herschelle Gibbs, with an unbelievable delivery skittling the opener – Warnie was back.

He went on to turn the game as he so often did, taking four wickets for just 29 runs.

The king had his ups and his downs, but above all else, he gave Aussies everywhere the belief that the side could win from any situation. All you had to do was give him the ball. 

He was the best to ever do it and he did it on his own terms. Rest in peace king. 

Scott Kertes

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: 700th Test wicket in the perfect setting

My mates and I have a Boxing Day tradition – watch one over, then hit the bar. Shane Warne’s 700th wicket in test cricket made us give up on that tradition. 

We waited and waited, and when he was bowling, I remember the crowd being so quiet. It was a tad eerie. Then he took the wicket and the place went absolutely nuts.

It was the start of his last ever five-wicket haul in test cricket, but that was really irrelevant that day. It was all about the 700th. 

To have close to 90,000 people at one place really all for one reason speaks volumes of the impact he had not only on cricket fans but all Australians.

Few sportspeople transcend their sport – he was one of them.

To be there for that was something I will never forget. RIP Warney.

Dominic Criniti

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: Marlon Samuels clash at the MCG, BBL|02

Although Warnie has a countless list of incredible achievements and moments with the ball in hand, I wanted to look at when the king of spin showed his passion and true unfiltered self.

Warne let it all out at Melbourne Rengades’ import Marlon Samuels. Standing up for his teammates, and gave us something that is becoming incredibly rare in professional sports, an athlete being themselves on and off the field.

Warne’s larger-than-life character and well-documented larrikin behaviour is what sets him apart from the rest and is a big reason as to why he transcended cricket and became one of our greatest sporting icons.

In what is now one of the most iconic moments in Big Bash history, Warne lit the fuse on an already intense rivalry in Melbourne and pulled the curtain back on his feelings of the West Indian.

Image
Shane Warne gets up close and personal with Marlon Samuels in BBL02 (Photo: Cricket.com.au)

There will never be another Shane Warne, no one has had such an impact on the game of cricket, Warne lived life to the fullest and had no regrets about being himself.

I never thought I would have to write this but, Rest In Peace S.K. Warne, I wish you were around to see how many lives you touched and how your passing has deeply affected millions around the globe.

Vale to the king of spin and a true blue Australian icon.

Jono Baruch

Favourite Shane Warne Moment: Warne vs McMillan, Christchurch 2005.

Not many cricketers can predict the future. Not many cricketers can make the opposition at the other end of the pitch, bat or ball in hand, make you do exactly what you want your opponent to do.

Shane Warne could. He did it better than anyone and the amount of time he did it, on the field where he made the batter hit the ball exactly where he wanted the ball to be hit, or even from the commentary box when he finished playing, predicting the next sequence of play or calling the wicket, never ceased to amaze anyone such was the genius of the man.

He had many great battles and bunnies on the field. Daryl Cullinan, Kevin Pietersen, Alec Stewart, Nasser Hussain just to name a few.

He had great battles with New Zealander Craig McMillan both at home in Australia and away across the ditch. There were times when McMillan got the better of Warne but there were also occasions when Warne, as he did to most batters, made McMillan look like a complete fool.

In the First Test in Christchurch 2005, with New Zealand heading into the lunch break with a slender lead and wickets falling, Warne was brought on to extract one final breakthrough. After carefully placing the field where he wanted it, Warne bowled from around the wicket, targeting McMillan’s pad and foot, hoping to get him to spoon a ball up to the waiting hands of Simon Katich at short leg.

McMillan had no intention of playing at the ball, wanting to let it hit his foot outside the line more often than he could. By the fifth ball of the over, Warne had gotten McMillan to do exactly what he wanted him to do. Scoop the ball to short leg and send him on his way.

While yes, it’s not his most memorable wicket, it’s the wicket and passage of play that encapsulated to me just how much Warne could bamboozle you by not even doing much. Such was the aura of the man who made the craft of leg-spin his own. A flawed genius. A magician whose loss we will feel forever. 

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