shane warne

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Marlon Samuels: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Marlon Samuels faces off with Shane Warne.

What he said:

“Maybe I have a real face and he doesn’t.”

Marlon Samuels was not a gracious winner despite his match-winning knock in the World T20 final at Kolkata against England.

The volatile West Indian was quick to let loose a volley at his long-time bete-noire Shane Warne dedicating his man-of-the-match award to the Australian spin king turned commentator.

The duo have a history of clashes dating back to the second edition of the Big Bash league.

Samuels said:

“I woke up this morning with one thing on my mind. Shane Warne has been talking continuously and all I want to say is ‘this is for Shane Warne’. I answer with the bat, not the mic. I played a Test series in Australia (in January 2016) and Shane Warne has a problem with me. Don’t know why. I’ve never disrespected him. It seems that he has a lot inside him that needs to come out. I don’t appreciate the way he continues to talk about me and the things that he keeps doing.”

The facial jibe was a reference to Warne having admitted to using Botox in the past.

What he really meant:

It’s my turn to face the mike. Warney, can you stand the music?”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I’d really like a bearded and moustachioed Warne, wouldn’t you?”

Shane Warne. At the WACA gound on 15/10/2006 P...

Shane Warne. At the WACA gound on 15/10/2006 Photo taken by me – user:Moondyne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Why best friends don’t necessarily make best teammates

Once upon a time, Shane Warne and Steve Waugh were fast friends.

As part of the mighty Australian side of the 1990’s and 2000’s, they were unconquerable, united in victory presiding over the world of cricket.



Shane Warne, in a reality show, called his former skipper “the most selfish cricketer I have played with”.

The reference was to his axing from the final Test in 1999 when the ‘kangaroos’ toured the West Indies.

Waugh initially preferred not to respond issuing a curt statement that read:

“I’m not justifying his comments with an answer.”

He later opened up to Triple M commercial radio.

He said:

“To be fair, not only Shane, any player I had to tell was dropped wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy telling Adam Dale he was dropped for a Test match or Greg Blewett. There were a number of players I had to tell they weren’t playing. As a captain, that is the hardest thing to do. But it’s also why you’re the captain, because people expect you to make the tough decisions for the benefit of the team. You have got to do that at times and you have got to be prepared not to be liked by everyone.”

He added:

“I guess, the main thing as a captain and leader, as long as people respect your decision, that is all you can ask. You have got to take a bit of a risk sometimes. It’s not always the obvious thing to do. Sometimes it can be gut feel, it can be based on facts…at the end of the day, you are a leader because people expect you to make a choice.”

Great teams need great players. And it goes without argument that these two giants of Australian cricket count among them.

Shane Warne

Shane Warne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But it doesn’t necessarily mean that they always see eye to eye on all matters.

Even the best of friends fall out when their interests collide. And Warne was a strong contender for the top job in Australian cricket, only to be denied by the establishment.

The Spin King would have made a great skipper. Better than Waugh? That’s debatable.

Whatever the case, for a team to do well, their stalwarts have to  subsume their differences towards a common goal.

Waugh and Warne were able to do that and how.

Soon after their rift the Aussie side lifted the 1999 ODI World Cup with Warne coming good in the semis and the final bagging man-of-the-match awards. This after the side were almost knocked out of the tournament by South Africa.

Yes, they weren’t the best of pals. They still aren’t.

But they were also seekers of excellence in their respective fields.

Just goes to show that you don’t need to be the best of buddies to be teammates.

Just able to meet on common ground to get things done in the best manner possible.

Teammates, yes. BFF, no.

It’s possible that team-members become best friends.

But it’s not necessary that best buddies make the best teammates.

Paradoxical, yes. Untrue, no.

Leave your comments below.

Michael Clarke bites the Ashes dust

“Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone, and another one gone

Another one bites the dust

Hey, I’m gonna get you too

Another one bites the dust

How do you think I’m going to get along, 

Without you, when you’re gone

You took me for everything that I had, 

And kicked me out on my own

Are you happy, are you satisfied

How long can you stand the heat

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

To the sound of the beat”

The above lines are the chorus to Queen’s famed song, “Another One Bites The Dust.”

How much must it mimic the state of Michael Clarke’s mind as he bid adieu to international cricket on the back of yet another Ashes loss in England?

Clarke would have loved to win in England as skipper and would certainly have believed that the urn would be his at the outset. They had just won the World Cup and were on a high.

Steve Waugh never conquered the Final Frontier that was India. He never captained the Aussies to a series win on the sub-continent.

A cricket shot from Privatemusings, taken at t...

A cricket shot from Privatemusings, taken at the third day of the SCG Test between Australia and South Africa. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Similarly, the Ashes remained Clarke’s bugbear, his Waterloo.

A bad back, a sore hamstring, an injured then retired Harris, a missing Haddin and a lackadaisical Johnson all added to his woes.

The cup overflows and not with Ashes.

The skipper’s out, stumped.

Clarke leaves behind a great legacy as a batsman and skipper. Many believed that he did a wonderful job of rebuilding the side after the departure of Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and later Ricky Ponting.

But the replacements were not quite bunnies and thus the task of rebuilding anew falls on the young shoulders of Steve Smith.

The Pup is an old dog.

Clarke will always be remembered for his tact and sensitivity in tackling the shocking demise of Philip Hughes. He was the epitome of a gentleman and statesmanlike in his demeanour. His emotional oration moved his listeners to tears.

He will be missed on the cricket field.

He will always be welcome everywhere else.

Australia versus England: Who shall have the Ashes?

I really didn’t want to write this article; I haven’t been catching the Ashes—the war of the English roses  and the Australian wattles—a tradition itself within a traditional game.

It’s not that I don’t like cricket or that I’m overly patriotic and catch mostly India games (which I do) but I simply cannot bring up any passion for watching this series.

The Ashes—on television—are a visual treat; the commentating is excellent and there’s everything very attractive about the packaging of a historic rivalry that evokes memories of battles past.

I wish Indian television were able to come up with a better presentation of the  Indo-Pak rivalry but aside from the jingoism it revisits, there’s little to recommend for couch aesthetes.

The five-match series began with the Aussies favoured by one and all. After all, they were the ODI world champs and had thrashed their Trans-Atlantic foes comprehensively in the series Down Under. The pundits predicted that Alistair’s goose was Cooked.

England surprised one and all by winning the first Test. But the Aussies were out for blood in the second and prevailed in a somewhat one-sided encounter.

Steve Harmison in action at the Oval for Engla...

Steve Harmison in action at the Oval for England’s One Day International side against Bangladesh on 16 June 2005 Image created by the author with Nikon D70 + 70-300mm Nikkor G lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To everyone’s surprise, the third Test ran along similar lines. Except this time, it was the home side that dominated from Day One. The return of Steve Finn implied that England now had three wicket-taking pacers; the weakness of this side has been that the support pacers are  there simply to make up the numbers; they never were strike options.

Can Finn be the Steve Harmison of this side? Remember Stevie, from the 2005 Ashes in tandem with Freddie Flintoff pushing the Aussies on the backfoot in the absence of Glenn McGrath and the first signs of what was to come once  Warne and he exited the greats.

England , not too long ago, were number one; they ascended to that pole position when they beat India at home in 2011. It is a number they have since ceded to South Africa.

Can they lay the foundation for another push at that supreme figure?

The next two Tests are crucial. Has the momentum shifted in England’s favour?

Will the Aussies bite back with venom?

The urn beckons.


Legends and Superstars: T20 cricket goes global

Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne have launched a Legends T20 Cricket League to be held in the USA in August-September.

Shah Rukh Khan has gone a step further and extended the Kolkata Knight Riders brand by buying Caribbean T20 team Trinidad & Tobago. Mark Wahlberg and Gerard Butler are other actor-owners of Barbados Tridents and  Jamaica Tallawahs respectively.

This confluence of acting and cricketing giants to promote the sport overseas is welcome.

The more the merrier.

Ageing superstars and retired cricketers have much more in common than their age. They enjoy a hold on their fans way past their expiry date.

The Legends T20 League will test this theory. More power to them.

English: Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan with fami...

English: Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan with family at premiere of Drona (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Shane Warne: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Shane Warne is a hard man to please.

Shane Warne

Shane Warne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What he said:

“He has to change his body language, it needs to be stronger – he looks a bit soft. He needs to puff his chest out a bit, look harder.”

Shane Warne stirred up a storm with his criticism of Mitchell Starc in the second Test at Brisbane against India.

The former Australian leg-spinner and all-time great was commentating for Nine Network.

Darren Lehmann was among those to react.

Lehmann said:

“Soft. He used those words? That’s very harsh…I will take it up with Shane myself.”

Starc’s girlfriend Australian women’s cricketer Alyssa Healy was quick to come to his defence on Twitter.

She said:

Shane Warne, forced to back-pedal, responded on Twitter:

Starc appeared to respond positively to the brouhaha scoring a fifty in Australia’s batting essay and cleaning out first innings centurion Murali Vijay for 27.

What Warne really meant:

“Fast bowlers are meant to intimidate the opposition, look them in the eye and stare them down. That’s the body language I’m referring to. I was able to do that and I was no pacer!”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Cricket used to be a gentleman’s game. What has the world come to?”

Narendra Modi: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Narendra Modi is not averse to ‘Cricket Diplomacy’.

What he said:

“We celebrate the legend of Bradman and the class of Tendulkar together.

We are impressed by Australian speed as you are charmed by the Indian spin Until of course Shane Warne came along!”

The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was all charm and humour in his address to the Australian parliament injecting references to three great cricketers, two Aussies and one Indian. He is the first Indian premier to visit the continent in 28 years.

What he really meant:

“Yeah, that’s what India-Australia relations have been all about for so many years. Cricket, cricket and more cricket. “

What he definitely didn’t:

“I’m sorry I left out all the Indian students Down Under. Some other time, perhaps. Can’t I label them ‘Made in India’ too?”



Stuart Clark: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

Stuart Clark cares for Test cricket.

What he said:

“The Test series is big but at the end of the day if they do well in the World Cup no one will care about the Test series over there.”

Stuart Clark articulates what every dyed-in-the-wool Indian cricket fan openly admits—that recency and ODI wins count more than any overseas Test results.

The former Australian pacer said:

“I’d suggest India are very, very concerned about the World Cup.That’s a big thing in their cricket calendar, one-day cricket and the World Cup.”

On India’s performance after the first two Tests in England:

“But as soon as they moved to a wicket that did a little bit the white flags went up.”

Clark does not believe that Indian spinners will make a huge difference in the series against Australia Down Under.

He said:

“If India are going to come out and bowl spinners at us I think we’ll come out and smash them everywhere. They’re going to Brisbane first. Other than Shane Warne, no spinner has ever really done a lot there and been overly successful. In Adelaide they’ll be OK, but Sydney the last couple of years has been quite pace-friendly – it’s been carrying through and seamed around everywhere.

They’ll play Ashwin – he’s a good bowler in Indian conditions but I can’t see him being overly successful here.”

What Clark really meant:

 “India are the ODI world champions after all. And their fans will not accept anything less than a stellar performance at the World Cup. The Test series? The guys were whitewashed 4-0 the last time around. Can they fare worse? Anything less would be a major improvement.”

What he definitely didn’t:

” But it’d be so nice to thoroughly demoralise the Indian batsmen going into the World Cup. Nothing like another whitewash to do the job.”

Shane Warne: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t

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Shane Warne Is All Giggly With Liz Hurley


What he said:

“I’m sure she giggles with me and not at me.”

Shane Warne and Elizabeth Hurley have not yet set a date for the marriage vows but have decided against a pre-nuptial agreement.

Warne said:

There has not been one chat about what date, where, anything like that. It hasn’t been brought up once. We’re in no rush to marry. We’re a bit romantic and old-school and are enjoying being engaged for a while. We just want to live our life at the moment and see how that goes. We’re enjoying each other, she makes me laugh.

The high-flying couple recently announced their engagement.

What he really meant:

“If our romance is a comedy, let’s laugh together.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Just call us ‘Giggles’.

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