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A Story That Tell Us Why Shane Warne Was The Greatest Spinner Ever

Shane Warne made his debut against India in 1992, and went on to become arguably the greatest bowler in the history of the game.

The cricket world continues to mourn the shocking demise of legendary Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who passed aged 52. Warne was found unresponsive in his villa in Thailand of a ‘suspected heart attack’ with a later statement coming from Warne’s management confirming his demise.

Shane Warne made his debut against India in 1992, and went on to become arguably the greatest bowler in the history of the game, claiming 1001 international wickets – 293 in ODIs and 708 Test wickets – a tally only bettered by Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan who snared 1347 international dismissals.
Image source: Caught At Point
One of the most famous series for Shane Warne was the 2005 away Ashes in England. Warne fought till the end with both bat and ball and kept Australia alive in the series every time England threatened to take it away. And that was after he was returning from a ban for diuretics imposed on him ahead of the 2003 World Cup.
An interesting story has been learned about Shane Warne, showing his immense greatness as a leg-spinner. A Facebook page, ‘Random Cricket Photos That Make Me Happy’, paid tribute to Warne with a fascinating story around the 2005 Ashes.
Since making his Ashes debut in 1993, Warne had tormented the English batters in all series. To prepare to face the challenges from this great leg-spinner, England bought a special bowling machine, Merlyn, and even got Mike Gatting, the recipient of the ‘Ball of the century’ to endorse it.
“In the lead up to the 2005 Ashes, its inventors sold it to the ECB with the pitch that it could even replicate Warne’s Ball of the Century,” the Facebook post read.
merlyn bowling machine
“They even got the victim of the 1993 ball, Mike Gatting, for its promotion. A burly Gatting faced off against the machine in front of 60-70 people to show that the machine could be helpful for the English batsmen to tackle the Shane Warne threat, their nemesis every Ashes. Even Ashley Giles wrote a piece in The Guardian, ‘Australians can laugh but Merlyn’s leg-spin gives us an edge’.
The product of 15 years of Henry Pryor’s hard work, The Merlyn, possibly named after the wizard who features prominently in the King Arthur legend, was treated like royalty ahead of the Ashes by the management, reported the BBC.”
“Terry Jenner, The Spin Doctor and Warne’s guru, said, “Practising against it would be like practising making love to a statue. It’s artificial, and while it gives you something off the pitch, it’s not as if you’re reading it out of his hand. In the end, you’ve still got to face the best spinner that ever was.”
But Shane Warne being Shane Warne, dismantled the English once again. He claimed 40 wickets at an average of 19.92 in that series. These were 40 of the 96 Test wickets he took that year in Tests, a record that still stands.

Jatin Khandelwal

Hi, I am Jatin Khandelwal. Cricket writing came accidentally for me with an undergrad engineering degree. With opportunities first as a freelancer and then full-time, and experience with time, I have grown in the role. The Cricket Lounge is a place where I can thrive with the best of my abilities.

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