From 1001 international wickets to winning 1999 World Cup: Revisiting Shane Warne’s biggest achievements
Legendary Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne passed away aged 52 due to a suspected heart attack in Thailand on March 4.
Considered one of the all-time greats of cricket, Warne made his international debut against India in a Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in 1992.
Since his debut, the Victoria-born cricketer went on to play 145 Tests and 194 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for Australia. He retired from all forms of cricket in 2007.
Second highest wicket-taker of all-time
Shane Warne claimed 708 Test wickets in 145 matches at an average of 25.41, including 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 ten-wicket hauls. Warne is the second-highest wicket-taker in Tests only behind former Sri Lanka off-spinner Muthiah Muralitharan.
In the ODI format, Warne bagged 293 wickets in 194 matches at an average of 25.73 and an economy of 4.25.
The leg-spinner remains the second-highest wicket-taker in cricket’s history, with 1001 wickets in 339 matches. Only Sri Lankan legend Muralitharan has picked more international wickets (1347).
Helping Australia lift the 1999 Cricket World Cup
Warne played a pivotal role in helping the Australia cricket team claim the 1999 Cricket World Cup hosted primarily by England, with Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Netherlands acting as co-hosts.
After picking 12 wickets in the preliminary phases of the 1999 World Cup, Warne produced two Player of the Match performances in the semi-final and final.
In the semi-final, the leg-spinner bagged four wickets for 29 runs against South Africa to power the Aussies to the 1999 World Cup final. He dismissed South Africa's top-order batters - Herschelle Gibbs, Gary Kirsten, Hansie Cronje and Jacques Kallis.
Warne was the wrecker-in-chief in the final against Pakistan, claiming 4/29 in nine overs to bundle out the Men in Green for 132. Australia chased down the target in 20.1 overs with eight wickets in hand to clinch their second World Cup title.
Warne ended the tournament as joint highest-taker alongside New Zealand pacer Geoff Allott, as both claimed 20 wickets each.
The ball of the century
In the first Ashes Test of 1993, Shane Warne announced his arrival by producing a sensational delivery in his very first ball to bamboozle England's Mike Gatting at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester. After Warne pitched the ball outside leg and made it take an unexpected curve which ended up kissing Gatting's off stump leaving Gatting astonished. The sensational delivery is hailed as the "ball of the century".
Interestingly, Warne has picked the most wickets in Ashes history. He claimed 195 wickets in 36 Ashes Tests at an average of 23.25 with best bowling figures of 8/71 in an Ashes innings.
Guiding Rajasthan to clinch the inaugural edition of Indian T20 League
Former Rajasthan skipper Shane Warne became the first captain to lift the Indian T20 League title in 2008. Under his incredible leadership, an inexperienced Rajasthan outfit won the inaugural edition of the Indian T20 League, defeating an MS Dhoni-led Chennai in the final.
Other major achievements
Shane Warne’s Test exploits earned him a spot on the Wisden Cricketers of the Year list (1994 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack), and he was named the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World in 1997 and 2004.
Warne was also included in Australia's greatest ever ODI team by ESPN ahead of the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.
Warne was inducted into the Cricket Australia Hall of Fame in 2012 and the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2013.
Featured photo: Indranil MUKHERJEE /GABRIELE CHAROTTE/AFP