Fri, Dec 22, 2006 - Page 22 News List

Cricketers sing Warne's praises

`BOWLER'S BRADMAN' Some of the biggest names in the game queued up to pay tribute to the Australian spin bowler who will retire at the end of the Ashes Test series


Two of Shane Warne's closest cricketing "neighbors" were among the first to sing the Australian legspinner's praises after Warne's retirement announcement yesterday.

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming said Warne was the greatest bowler to have played cricket and his retirement was a Christmas present to all batsmen.

"As far as the game goes I don't think anyone's done more than what he's done," Fleming said. "He's been a presence. He's introduced young talent to spin bowling."

"At most coaching camps you go to people are wanting to bowl wrist spin like Shane Warne if they can. That's a massive effect to have," he said.

Sir Richard Hadlee, the former Test wicket world record-holder from New Zealand, said cricket will be poorer for Warne's retirement.

"A lot of batsmen in world cricket will be delighted to learn he's leaving the game but I think the game will be poorer without him," Hadlee said in a radio interview.

"He has been a match-winner, flamboyant and just incredible to watch. I've admired his skills over a long period of time," he said.

Hadlee, who retired in 1990 with a then world-record total of 431 Test wickets, said Warne's occasional misbehavior off the field did not diminish his achievements.

"As far as I'm concerned it doesn't diminish any of his achievements whatsoever," he said.

"When you're a high-profile person, people are looking to attack your personal life, perhaps pull you down," he said. "To Warne's credit, he's still soldiered on. His performances on the field do all the talking."

Fleming described Warne as "extremely gracious" and remembered the Australian's consideration when he was new to Test cricket.

"He was generous with his time and that's basically why I've been friends with him ever since," Fleming said. "On and off the field there's been areas of controversy sure, but statistically he's the greatest bowler that ever played. He was tough, very, very competitive but he had a cheeky streak about him."

Former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad said although he never played against the Australian, "Warne was the bowler who could bowl leg-spin, flippers and googlies with utmost perfection."

"Warne could have easily played a year or two [more], but it's Australian history that a player retires when he's at his peak form," Miandad added.

Former Pakistani fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz compared Warne to Sir Donald Bradman, recognized as the greatest batsman to have ever played cricket.

"Warne is the bowler's Brad-man," Nawaz said.

This story has been viewed 2527 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top