Just when we thought we had seen the last of Shane Warne's bowling... we had.
You are here
In cricket's modern world of incremental exits, a legend can announce his retirement, celebrate a long emotional farewell, and then turn up playing another format for another team. But just as Warnie seems to be gone, he re-emerges. Like the monster in a slasher movie, or as I prefer to think of him, an escapee from the House of Wax.
At 41 years and 8 months, Warnie has called it a day. Again.
"He revived leg-spin, thought to be extinct, and is now pre-eminent in a game so transformed that we sometimes wonder where the next champion fast bowlers will come from."
- CricketArchive Staff Reporter, from Cricketarchive's player profile of Shane Warne, 17.4.09
One of the joys of having several different formats of the game of cricket is that one can retire more than once. Such is the case of Shane Warne.
His retirement from Test cricket - along with that of Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer - reduced the 2006/07 Ashes into one long farewell tour.
His retirement from ODI cricket was not so well orchestrated. The plan was to retire from one-dayers for Australia at the end of the 2003 World Cup. But that was before he was sprung illegally taking his mum's medication.
Yesterday, Warnie confirmed what we really should have understood for a few months, when Hampshire CCC announced his retirement from first-class cricket, because of his "many other business and charitable activities". The writing was on the wall from the moment he announced his unavailability for Hampshire for the 2008 Twenty20 Cup to play professional poker.
Cricket historians will fiercely debate for years to come whether Warne's retirement from Hampshire to play poker surpasses Phil Tufnell's retirement from Middlesex to appear in "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here".
As I said on Friday, Shane Warne has wrapped up the 2006-07 Midwinter-Midwinter, the rickeyre.com BoG award for this summer's Ashes series.
(BoG stands for Best on Ground, a more appropriate term I believe than MVP)
The Midwinter-Midwinter is not an Award, Trophy, Prize or such, it is simply the Midwinter-Midwinter. Named after one of the few cricketers to have played for both sides in Australia v England Test competition.
"You got an MBE, right? For scoring seven at the Oval? It's an embarrassment."
- Dr Shane Warne to Paul Collingwood MBE, Sydney Cricket Ground, 4.1.07.
Now we all know that the credibility of the British honours scheme is in tatters, but the decision to hand out gongs to the 2005 Ashes team a year ago was really a bit silly, something that I wrote about at the time.
You have to hand it to the Murdoch comic books. One week they are celebrating - in advance - the Lord Of The
RingsText Alert's 700th wicket, the next week they are celebrating his 1000th wicket. With that rarest or rarities, the full page colour liftout commemorative poster.
So what are we celebrating again? Shane Warne's 1000th international wicket. As in all "full internationals". Let me explain, by introducing the rickeyre.com vegetable index (More about the fruit index later)
Was this just another Pommy sledge, or a pagan ritual aimed at raising Sir Neville Cardus from the dead?