Greg Chappell Reckons Shane Warne Was An “Illusionist” First


Greg Chappell, former Australia captain on Monday paid glowing tributes to Shane Warne, describing the spin legend as an illusionist first and then a spinner, who mesmerized the world with his craft and took it to an altogether different level.

Shane Warne died at the age of 52 due to a suspected heart attack at the Koh Samui Island in Thailand on Friday, leaving the world stunned and shell-shocked.

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne – Getty Images.

Greg Chappell Reckons Shane Warne Was An Illusionist First And A Great Leg Spin Bowler Second

Shane Warne represented Australia in international cricket for 15 years after taking retirement in 2007.  In his 145 Test match career, he picked 708 wickets with an average of 25.41 which included 37 fifers. Similarly in his 194 ODI career, he picked 293 wickets with an economy of 4.25.

“When I think of Shane Warne, I think of the words of American naturalist, poet and writer Henry David Thoreau: ‘It’s not what you look at, it is what you see.’ Shane Warne was an illusionist first and a great leg-spin bowler second,” Chappell wrote in his column.

“I was fortunate to get to know Shane well in his post-cricket days by playing numerous games of golf with him at one of his favourite courses, Cathedral Lodge and Golf Club in Thornton, Victoria. You get to know someone pretty well when you spend four hours with them on the golf course and then as many again over post-round replays.”

Greg Chappell

Greg Chappell said Shane Warne was just more than a great leg-spinner as he inspired a generation of cricketers to take up his craft.

“Shane was more than just a leg spinner. He was an entertainer with enormous charisma who attracted attention wherever he went. His success generated millions of viewers to the game and brought the art of leg spin to life.”

“It also spawned a new generation of leg spinners who tried to walk up to the crease and let it rip! What they didn’t have was Shane’s brute strength and native cunning, so very few have reached great heights,” he said.

Former Australian cricket captain Greg Chappell has said Shane Warne “hated drugs” as he opens up about the “hell of week” following the deaths of two sporting greats. Greg Chappell said it had been a “shocking week” following the news that Warne had died within 24-hours of fellow cricket great Rod Marsh.

Greg Chappell Feels Shane Warne Was The Quintessential Competitor And His Public Perception Misunderstood

Greg Chappell, a former India coach, feels Shane Warne’s public perception was “coloured” and misunderstood.

“What you got with Shane wasn’t necessarily what you saw. You only got what he let you see. Most people’s impressions of him were coloured by what they gleaned from the way he was depicted in the media. That, often, only touched the surface,” he wrote.

Shane Warne helped Australia win the 1999 Cricket World Cup (Toby Melville/PA)
Shane Warne helped Australia win the 1999 Cricket World Cup (Toby Melville/PA)

“Shane was the quintessential competitor. He loved games and he loved to pit himself against an opponent where he could utilise his mental acuity and his enormously strong self-belief. I have often experienced his uncanny ability to will the magical to happen.”

“He had so much belief in his superpowers that he was usually staggered when it didn’t come off. It was invariably written off to extreme bad luck. Some of his golf opponents tried to use this against him by telling him how unlucky he was, but it is hard to kid a kidder,” Chappell added.

Shane Warne also represented Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) between 2008-10. He was the side’s captain, while he also happened to be its coach.

Shane Warne led the side to title glory during the inaugural edition in 2008, thus becoming the first-ever and the only captain-cum-coach to win the IPL to date. He was a part of Australia’s World Cup-winning team in 1999 and secured himself the Player of the Match award in the summit clash of the multi-team event against Pakistan.


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