Shane Warne
Shane Warne, the iconic Australian leg spinner, was termed the greatest bowler of all times by none less than the late Richie Benaud. Image Credit: AFP

Shane Warne lived his life King size during his playing days as well as after his retirement. He was the ultimate showman who could pull a rabbit out of the hat in whatever he did - on and off the field.

The mesmerizing Gatting ball which bamboozled the whole England team for 12 long years, the astonishing spell in the World Cup semi-finals in 1999 against South Africa when Australia were staring at defeat. Richie Benaud had said that Warne was just not the greatest leg spinner of all time but the greatest bowler the world had seen.

He had great intelligence and that’s why, he was so successful in getting the better of every batsman in the world. He wrote his own scripts. He lived in the moment and ignored the consequences. He never pretended to be someone he was not and off the field too, lived life King size without worrying what the world would say about him.

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He had the better of every player, barring two batting legends Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, whom he publicly acknowledged played him better than any other batters in the world. His battle with Sachin was a treat to watch, especially the Chennai Test in where he got the better of Sachin in the first innings in the 1998 series and then Sachin scored the masterful hundred - which was one his best to win India that game after conceding a lead of 70 in the first innings.

Warne was selected as the one of the five Cricketers of the Century by Wisden which had the great Sir Donald Bradman, Sir Garry Sobers, Jack Hobbs and Sir Vivian Richards. He was special that’s why he was among the five and no one can deny that Warne could do everything.

He was James Bond for some, a casanova for some, poker king in the casino, rockstar on and off the field and he made the toughest art in cricket the coolest.

He was the Bradman of leg spin bowling, who made the impossible possible.

- Cricket enthusiast Anis Sajan is the Vice Chairman of Danube Group