Shane Warne lives on in every nook and cranny in Melbourne | Cricket News


MELBOURNE: Nine months after his death, Shane Warne is a memory, but one so tangible you can almost hold on to it as you traverse the streets of his hometown of Melbourne or its beaches and cricket grounds.
One of cricket’s greatest entertainers, Warne is present in spirit and in the joy and madness of Melbourne.
Or at the St Kilda Cricket Club ground where his supple wrists first began to have ‘serious conversations’ with the red Kookaburra or the Brighton beach, where he would come for a sunbath or for a brisk run to strengthen his lower body.
It’s almost as if the 53-year-old, whose death in Thailand stunned the world of cricket and beyond, lives on in every corner.
Shane Warne’s life-size statue, in that iconic leg-spinning pose, stands tall outside the MCG.
And one fan actually painted a mural on the wall of his home in Dalgaty Lane as a mark of tribute. And no wonder, it is slowly turning into a tourist destination.
But to know Warne, a visit to St Kilda Cricket Club – a beautiful ground in the inner suburbs of South Melbourne where he first learned the art of leg spin – is a must.
A young Warne was a star at the Club in Melbourne’s grade cricket.
The first seeds of greatness were sown in the Warne household backyard and his younger brother Jason had the best seat in the house.
“We played cricket, and every other sport against each other growing up. He always tried to spin the ball as much as possible and started landing it more consistently in his teenage years. He was a natural sportsman and was really good in most of the games,” Jason recalled of the early days.
The pain of losing his brother could be felt when Jason spoke about the late wizard.
“Anyone who has lost a family member will know, losing your only brother is very difficult.
“As others do, I had to realize that moments we shared often would never happen again. There would be no more conversations that had been part of my whole life, no more arguments, competitions or disagreements about cricket and sport.”
Jason worked as Warne’s business manager and for months he couldn’t bring himself to set foot in the MCG, which Warne reserved for some of his best performances.
“I actually went to the MCG last week for the first time since its anniversary, it also happened to be the first time the Australian team would be playing in front of ‘The Shane Warne Stand’, I have to admit, it was quite emotional,” he said. said.
A few minutes’ drive from the St. Kilda CC is a quiet colony, the Dalgaty Lane.
In that lane, the investment banker Anton Whitehead owns a house where you find one of the most beautiful murals. A mui-colored facial portrait of Warne was drawn by professional artist Matt Ling, an Australian of Chinese descent.
The mural’s inspiration is a Sheffield Shield match where Warne played for Victoria. The Mural, full of colors, is a celebration of life. His life was never a monochrome, but a rainbow with all its shades.
An ardent Warne fan, Whitehead, who is in his mid-60s, was at Old Trafford during the 1993 Ashes where maestro Mike Gatting bowled him around the legs with what is now known as the ‘Ball of the Century’ .
“When Shane passed away, I was very sad like millions of cricket lovers. I got in touch with the artist and commissioned him to do the painting for me. That’s how I wanted to remember Warnie,” Whitehead told PTI.
So how long did it take to create the mural?
“Matt planned one day and painted it the next day. A full day of painting and then another day to clean up the job,” Whitehead said.
Interestingly, Whitehead never got a chance to interact with Warne in his life.
“I never spoke to Warnie but I was privileged to be present at Old Trafford (Manchester) on the day he got Mike Gatting out. I was lucky to be there that day. I watched a lot of cricket. If a young lad, I watched Bishan Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna during India’s 1967-68 series,” recalls Whitehead.
Watching Warne roll his wrists and conjure up those mesmerizing spells was an unforgettable experience.
In those five to seven seconds that Warne bowled a delivery, a batsman’s face would display a whole range of emotions.
The intensity with which they tried to figure out the trajectory of the ball, the eyes popping out as the ball took turns in the air before diving and the desperation when they sprang forward and saw the red cherry whiz past the edge of the bat, it was pure magic.
And finally the resigned looking like a delighted Warne had his hands in the air and Adam Gilcrhrist, Matthew Hayden, Justin Langer and Mark Waugh surrounded him.
“He didn’t see himself as a wizard, just someone who worked hard to get the best out of his natural ability,” Jason said.
“He always tried to be the best player he could be. As a talented sportsman, things came naturally to him, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t have to work hard. He did work very hard to be the best become what he could.”
Warne will always be in our conscience. The pulse can never be history.


Source link

Leave a Comment