Yesterday was a sad day for game of cricket. The spin master and no doubt the greatest Australian player since Don Bradman announced his retirement. I talk of Shane Keith Warne.
Despite your views about his off-field antics the guy is a genius of cricket. The statistics show it all: 143 tests, 699 wickets at an average of 25.49 and an economy rate of 2.65 which is astounding for a slow bowler. And what a fitting way to bow out, after regaining the Ashes, taking his 700 scalp in front of his home crowd and with every trophy in the cabinet.
Warne revealed that he would have retired after the 2005 Ashes series, had Australia managed to retain them. “But this is my time, and getting the Ashes back was my mission, and I couldn’t have worked the script any better. When it’s your time you just know.” He also said he would have stayed in the team had Australia lost the series.
One of the top five Wisden cricketers of the century, Warne has had his international fans and I’m sure the members of the RCC can admire him for his talents and to turn the ball the way he can.
How is this for a scenario for Warne’s 700th on day one of the MCG Test?
Pietersen K. b Warne SK. 0.
Who else will retire from the current Australian squad after Sydney in January? I expect McGrath and Langer are feeling some pressure and will retire shortly thereafter. Gilchrist was under pressure until his record breaking century in Perth.
The question also is who will replace the greats? There are a number of Australian batsmen on the scene and a few pace bowlers such as Shaun Tait but what about the leggie and the keeper. I’m really not sure about who the standout second keeper is at the moment but there are four or five young spinners in the ranks of which Dan Cullen, I believe, is the only contracted player at the moment (of course there is always the also ageing Stuart MacGill).
Warne was not the only retirement of the week with Steve Harmison announcing that he would no-longer be playing One Day International cricket and Geraint Jones days appear to be numbered with his exclusion from the squad. The only positive is the inclusion in the squad of Michael Vaughan.