In 1993, England played their 5th test of the Ashes at Edgebaston, Birmingham, I remember it well as I didn’t make the school trip there so I watched the match on television with my dad.
I had to have it explained to me why the English batsman weren’t smashing this bowler who had bleached blonde hair and looked like he was just turning his arm over.
“He’s bowling slower, as he’s a spinner!”
That spinner was Shane K Warne and he ended up with 5/82! From that moment I always kept my eye out for the name Warne, flicking through the cricket scores in the paper or as it was back in the day…teletext.
He went on to be come a legend of the game, and with Brian Lara my favourite cricketer. When I was notified that pre-orders were being taken for ‘No Spin’ I immediately placed my order! The book did not let me down!
It is a fascinating read of a sporting idol, one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the twentieth century. Warne doesn’t pull any punches, he is very open about his feelings on various matters but also very honest about his misdemeanours and off the field issues which includes match fixing, failed drugs tests, divorce and his private life splashed all over the news.
“I have lived in the moment and ignored the consequences”
There is so much more to Warne than the ‘Gatting ball’. His drive and passion is evident on nearly every page and captured in his own voice. The insight he provides into spin bowling is written in such a way that its easy to understand and doesn’t feel like a lecture.
Warne also provides tales of behind the scenes with Australia whilst on tour, his friendships and conflicts with other players something that is usually blown up in the press but coming from Warne you can assume its pretty reliable.
His views on modern day cricket makes fascinating reading and he certainly has a point. Whether people in authority of the game will take note…who knows. But they really should!
“I’ve never pretended to be someone or something I’m not”
I found this book a fantastic read about someone who I’ve always admired and Mark Nicholas does a great job in putting all the tales, facts and achievements together. This doesn’t always work that way, and on occasion the reader can be left deflated by what they have read about a ‘hero’ of theirs. I felt no such thing, and after the final page Shane Warne had elevated his status even further in my eyes.
Love him or hate him…he’s an interesting guy with passion, drive and he thrives where a lot of people don’t.