Sport needs Mavericks. R.I.P. Shane Warne.

17 July 2024, Wednesday

It seems so many moons back that my son Shane was born – and Shane Warne was his name inspiration.

Shane Warne had just started his international career.

Everyone in cricket could just see that there was just something special in Shane Warne –   who was about to change the world-wide game.

Change the game of cricket – just like Tiger would change the game of golf at the same time.

Both would go on to change the monetary currency of their chosen sports – the currency of cricket – the currency of golf.

In a 15 year career, making his debut in 1992, Warnie as he was affectionately known and loved (or ‘Hollywood’ in the change rooms), played 145 Tests for Australia, picking up 708 wickets with his leg-spin. In his 194 ODI appearances, Warne captured 293 scalps.

He famously delivered the ‘Ball of the Century’ to dismiss Mike Gatting at Old Trafford in 1993.

Not everyone enjoyed the Aussie – on and off the field banter – but no one could deny sheer sporting genius coming out Australia.

Something we all loved to see – the greats of the game pitted against our very own in our home countries.   

Shane Warne built his brand globally.

Globally he became a great Entertainer, a great sporting Educator to kids, and a great Enricher of the lives of so many cricket lovers – not just Aussies.

Mental disintegration tactics were very much part of sport in those days – especially for the Aussies .

Cricket Australia used it as a potent weapon – so did Tiger on that any given Sunday afternoon.

These where ‘The John McEnroe’s –   and wow how we miss those days of tennis- which has lost a lot of its lust since administrators became the main actors with technology etc.  

The Warnes, The Woods filled the arenas and had people queuing for hours just to buy tickets before the internet ticket process.

They filled stadiums to capacity – to add glamour and flamboyance to the game they loved.

Former Australian captain and ‘Voice of Cricket’ Richie Benaud, who passed away in 2015, credited Shane Warne for reviving the art of spin bowling, especially leg spin, after an era dominated by fast bowlers.

Now today, only once off social events such as Sevens, Cup Finals or Ryder Cup, seem to draw mass passionate supporters to the live events. (aka given the Covid implications)

Wow, how it has all changed.

Mavericks are what sport needs for their charisma, continuity, consistency and stadium filling capacity.

Mavericks that were hugely successful in their own rights – and made a significant and sustained difference to their select sports.

That is what defines HUMAN GREATNESS.

Shane Warne stands at the top of the pile – as one of the GREATS OF SPORT.

He created those special magic moments globally.

 A supreme entertainer wherever he played – wherever he cast his spinning magic – his spinning RIP.

Your feedback – you personal opinion – is always appreciated and valued.

Please share as your feedback stories can inspire others in my new 2022 book which is happening: : 101 Sporting Motivations – UNFINISHED “.

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Rob Opie is a Brand Strategist, Keynote Speaker, Author, Performance Consultant to Business & Sports Teams – and Life Coach to those on a journey to self-actualisation.

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