Shane Warne: The face of Australian cricket no more
Shane Warne and Elizabeth Hurley. AFP PHOTO/GREG WOOD
Gerald Whatley claimed that the T20 Big Bash this year was like World Wrestling Entertainment (or Federation as it was back then) in the early 1990s. He also said Shane Warne was like Hulk Hogan.
This is a simple analogy that at first seems outlandish, with the similarities seemingly beginning and ending with Warne and Hogan’s attempts to cover their hair loss.
However, the idea actually has a lot of merit.
During the early 1990s Hogan found himself at the top of the wrestling food chain but he could see that his decline was much closer than his ascent.
As such, Hogan in his last years in the WWE became harder and harder to control, before his eventual departure to the rivals at World Championship Wrestling.
Nobody could say no to him. He was still the top dog and the face of the company.
Shane Warne was in a similar situation this year. Brought in as the major ‘star player’ of the BBL, Warne has had a forgettable summer with bat and ball, but a memorable one with mouth and pen.
Never a man short of a word, Warne’s clash with Marlon Samuels looked ugly. If it was to ‘promote’ the game, then it failed.
After the Big Bash League though is where he did his real damage, calling Cricket Australia’s administration ‘muppets’ (I shudder to think who was Beaker) and calling for a whole new administration.
He selected the members of the new administration from a list of his best friends.
Quite a statement from one who, it has been pointed out ad infinitum, cared not for coaches and the like when he was playing.
The simple truth of the matter is that Warne was an amazing bowler and still has something to offer the game.
But much of this manifesto and the behaviour of during the Big Bash League seems to indicate that he is afraid that the position he held as the face of Australian cricket is now gone.
After all, it’s been six years since he was in a Test match.
Billy Connolly said that once upon a time he used to bemoan the loss of several things around Glasgow from his early years until one day he realised that what he really missed was his youth.
Perhaps it’s time for Warne to do the same. Then, we can see what benefits (and there will be plenty) he can offer Australian Cricket.