Sunday, December 24, 2006


SHANE WARNE - undoubtedly the greatest cricketer in historyIn a break from our usual programming, I plug you into my yuletide despair. Despite the fact that I am writing this from the poolside of apparently the third best hotel in the world, with an outstandingly beautiful view and a gourmet lunch by my side, the world seems a darker place. Why? Not because England lost the Ashes. I predicted that as soon as they won them. Getting the Ashes took a first choice team in full health with extremely favourable dodgy umpiring decisions coupled with Ponting being off form and AUS not seeing us coming. There was no way that an angry and primed AUS was going to let an England side afflicted by injury and stupidity retain the Urn.

No. I am depressed because Shane Warne has announced his retirement. Shane Warne is, to my mind, the greatest cricketer of all time. I regard it as an honour that my cricket-viewing life to date has coincided with his career. To watch him play is sheer joy, and even when he is skittling English wickets you can't help but admire his sheer skill and entertainment value. I remember watching the Ball of the Century - when he skittled Mike Gatting pitching outside leg and clipping the off stump in 1993 - and just being shocked that a ball could do that. Cricket will be poorer without Shane Warne and the ultimate homage comes courtesy of the Top Aussie website:

Shane Warne is a top Aussie. He is also a massive pisstank yobbo with a beer-gut who dyes his hair blonde and drives a red convertible. Warney has done some bad things. He once got paid 100 grand by Nicabate to give up durries for a year but he lit up heaps when he was pissed. Then he took money from some Indian bookmakers for pre-match information. He once smashed a camera cause a kiddy took a photo of his beer gut. Then he got toey on the phone and dirty-talked an English girly who wasn't his wife. However, all Australians agree that Warney can be excused for doing these things cause he spin bowls like a genius and makes England look completely shithouse. Warney could drink all our beer and then spew on our carpet and we wouldn't care as long as he keeps taking wickets.

Warney is a top Aussie.

SHANE WARNE played for Victoria, Hampshire and Australia. He made his test debut in 1992. He has since amassed over 700 wickets - the most for any single player in history and has also scored 3000 runs. He bowled the Ball of the Century and was judged to be one of five players of the Century by Wisden. He will retire at the end of this Ashes series.

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