Sometimes (in fact very often) other people write it best:

Shane Warne has been the most extraordinary, exotic and entertaining cricketer the game has known. In his hands a cricket ball could perform previously unconsidered gyrations, spinning at right angles, skidding like a puck upon ice, changing directions after an initial curl or else dropping sharply to leave the batsman groping at thin air. He took a bag of tricks onto the field and dipped into it with the cunning of rat and the theatricality of a tragedian. And now the end is near. Treasure these last few days as the old rascal pitches another jewel of a leg-break or carts another irreverent 40 or plots another clever dismissal or presides over another imposing performance. Treasure them because we will not see his like again. — Peter Roebuck in The Sydney Morning Herald, today 

In the Australian team of which he is the oldest, most experienced and comfortably the most famous member, Shane Warne is the great decomplicator. People tangle themselves in theories, he complains, when cricket is a simple game. Batsmen should block the good ones and belt the loose ones. Bowlers are there to get them out. None of coach John Buchanan’s Sun Tzu stuff for him: he prefers eternal cricket verities. Don’t force it. Back yourself. Relax. It’s when Warne is relaxing, however, that the trouble starts, usually involving some combination of fag, fix, phone and femme fatale. No cricketer has so dominated both back and front pages of the newspapers of his time — confirming in the process the truism about the back pages chronicling only man’s successes, the front only failures. — Gideon Haigh in The Monthly, September 2005

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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