August 19, 2022

It’s a well-liked maxim that you must by no means meet your sporting heroes in particular person for worry of being upset – Shane Keith Warne was an exception to the rule.

In September of 2015, when working at a newspaper on Sydney’s northern seashores, an electronic mail popped up in my inbox from a PR company providing me an interview with the Australian cricket legend.

I didn’t take lengthy to answer.

A few days later – with a mix of nerves and pleasure – I headed to Manly Golf Membership the place Warne was teeing off at 9am as a part of a promotion with considered one of his many sponsors.

He was my sporting idol, I confess. It actually was a ‘pinch me, I’m dreaming’ second and a particular profession spotlight. 

Warne’s media particular person outdoors the professional store suggested me that the nation’s biggest ever legspinner could be accessible for a fast chat after the ninth gap.

Warne’s excessive profile engagement to actress Liz Hurley turned heads world wide – the couple finally went their separate methods

Warne's larrikin nature made him a popular figure with sports fans globally (pictured, enjoying a bourbon at the Australian Open tennis in January)

Warne’s larrikin nature made him a well-liked determine with sports activities followers globally (pictured, having fun with a bourbon on the Australian Open tennis in January)

He previously stated he enjoyed smoking - and did so since a teenager (pictured, playing a round prior to the Irish Open in 2015)

He beforehand acknowledged he loved smoking – and did so since a young person (pictured, taking part in a spherical previous to the Irish Open in 2015)

Shane Warne lived a life many could only dream about, and was often surrounded by beautiful women

Shane Warne lived a life many may solely dream about, and was typically surrounded by stunning ladies

True to his phrase, Warne confirmed up trying the half in a golf cart a little bit over an hour later.

I had heard all of the tales of Warne’s supposed conceitedness and dislike of some sections of Australian media.

As a substitute, he was partaking, humorous and well mannered.

Our interplay was heat and easygoing, as the person who snared 708 Take a look at wickets in a adorned profession fortunately chatted about golf, the native way of life, his ardour for cricket commentary and poker.

Information of his shock dying left me speechless on Saturday morning.

The sporting hero for numerous Australians wasn’t presupposed to die at 52, he was nearly invincible. Certainly?

I bear in mind watching Warne take his 700th check wicket on Boxing Day on the Melbourne Cricket Floor in 2006.

On the verge of retirement, the sporting magician bowled English opener Andrew Strauss.

Warne later stated the noise seconds later was ‘in contrast to something he has heard earlier than’.

He wasn’t incorrect, it was electrical. 

Given he was born and raised in Victoria, the adulation from ‘his individuals’ wasn’t shocking.

Mike Atherton, the previous England cricket captain, was shocked by the information which has rocked world sport.

‘I don’t assume I’ve ever been extra shocked in my life. A person who had such vitality, filled with power and life,’ he stated on Saturday.

‘He was somebody I performed towards for a decade in Ashes cricket, and commentated alongside for a very long time. I don’t assume many individuals learn the sport higher than him, he was probably the most clever bowler I performed towards, and that got here throughout in his commentary.

During his career Warne gained a reputation as the blonde-haired, blue-eyed hero of the sport, a champion bowler on the pitch and a playboy off it, famed for his love of high profile women, baked beans, gin and cigarettes

Throughout his profession Warne gained a popularity because the blonde-haired, blue-eyed hero of the game, a champion bowler on the pitch and a playboy off it, famed for his love of excessive profile ladies, baked beans, gin and cigarettes

The father of three was also once engaged to actress Liz Hurley (pictured left at the Ascot races in the UK)

The daddy of three was additionally as soon as engaged to actress Liz Hurley (pictured left on the Ascot races within the UK)

‘Leg-spin was a dying artwork in Australia when he was first picked – at that first Take a look at match at Outdated Trafford, he was a little bit bit underneath the radar, till he bowled Gatts (Mike Gatting), after which he turned a celebrity of the sport. 

‘He was two bowlers in a single – good defensively, and a powerful attacking bowler. He’s the best leg-spinner the sport has seen.’

Even legendary rock star Mick Jagger paid his respects, with the Rolling Stones frontman tweeting ‘I’m so saddened by the sudden dying of Shane Warne. He introduced such pleasure to the sport and was the best spin bowler ever.’

Warne’s household have been supplied a state funeral on Saturday, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison labelling the 52-year-old ‘considered one of Australia’s nice characters.’ 

Relaxation in peace, Warnie, you received’t be forgotten.