Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Warne is over

Those who love cricket (and many who don't) will remember Shane Warne's first ball in Ashes cricket. I doubt Mike Gatting will forget it. Warne announced himself as something very special, a new force in cricket.

The ball that dismissed Robin Smith in the same test was, in my view, better, one of the finest deliveries I have seen. Only a player of Smith's talent could even get a bat to it, as it spun square.

So many times I have seen this fat boy bamboozle our batsmen, and those of other nations, often dragging Australia from the brink. He has been endlessly fascinating and never less than brilliant, consistently the best spinner of our day -- Murali notwithstanding -- and arguably the best bowler of any kind -- only Glenn McGrath can offer any argument, in my view. He is the best I have seen, better even than the brilliant West Indian quicks of my youth.

I do not have anything to say about his private life. I doubt I would like him as a man. That is immaterial when considering him as a cricketer though, and as a cricketer, he is a legend. I tips me hat to Warney. Perhaps we'll have a chance in a couple of years!

BBC SPORT | Cricket | The Ashes | Shane Warne ends his Test career
Selvey, as usual, right on the money.


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