So, if you believe the kind of newspapers that generally aren’t worth believing, it seems the ‘Shurley’ (or ‘Shiz’ as it should have been tagged) partnership has come to an end. And how do we know this? Via the medium of Twitter, or to be more accurate, by the lack of Twitter, which is how journalists tend to find out most things these days. This is the same way that we found out how much Shane and Elizabeth were missing each other, what Shane and Elizabeth ate for breakfast, what time they went for a swim, what time they finished their swim and how good James Faulkner is. At least some of these statements were factually correct.
We’ve been able to mock Warne for his rapid weight loss, his alleged Botox and his new wardrobe without losing our English Rose to the other side of the planet. Although having given it some thought, we’d probably do all of the above and more if Liz Hurley asked us to as well. The difference is no one knows who we are (we’re 51allout, the 3,767,447th biggest website in the world), we’re not quite at the level of the greatest sportsmen of all time and we’re not responsible for ruining Chris Schofield and Ian Salisbury’s Test careers. Not entirely anyway, in the case of the latter.
Does everything that has gone on since that 708th Test wicket take away from Warne’s undoubted genius for spinning a cricket ball in the eyes of us mere mortals? Certainly the last 12 months can’t have helped and to be fair, we did actually used to think that he wasn’t completely atrocious at that commentating lark. But since his on-air, mid-pitch tirade at Marlon Samuels things have taken a turn for the utter shitest. From the Warneifestos to THAT commentary stint on the final afternoon at the Oval, it’s an impressive charge sheet for sure.
Do we think less of Tiger Woods for living it up in Vegas whilst still married to a Swedish model? Do we think less of Maradona for the extracurricular activities as his footballing powers faded? We’d argue not. If anything we think more of them, as if they are more human to us. It’s the same reason the paparazzi followed George Best and Graeme Hick to every liquid lunch. And why they now do the same to Gazza. We still appreciate the genius, despite the baggage that goes with it.
So why do we currently feel such glee in Warne’s recent misfortunes? Personally, his career has coincided with most of our cricket-watching life so we’ve seen him embarrass England on a number of occasions. But so has Ricky Ponting, and we’d happily share a beer with him. Ultimately it’s because we’ve spent the last six weeks listening to Warne talk absolute bollocks. When Ravi Shastri is praising the Indian fans or Dravid’s forward defensive you know they’ve been chasing KP leather all around Mumbai; the same applies to Warne. He just can’t take those rose-tinted spectacles off and even if he could, he’d probably replace them with blinkers.
We’ve seen Nathan Coulter-Nile bowl and he’s not much better than Glen Chapple.
And yes, we’re quite happy with a winning captain who bores the pants off everyone else and who doesn’t have a supermodel wife/girlfriend. Certainly not one who starred in 2002’s Dawg, a story so amazing that we’ll just quote its plot here:
“Douglas “Dawg” Munford (Denis Leary) is the ultimate womanizer: He is selfish, rude and totally uncaring about what a woman thinks after they have sex. He arrives too late for his grandmother’s funeral but, no matter, she has left him a cool million subject to one condition.
As explained by estate executor Anna Lockhart (Elizabeth Hurley), Douglas must contact at least a dozen of the scores of women he has seduced and left during his lifetime and beg for their forgiveness. Reluctantly, Dawg sets out on his odyssey which takes him, and the lawyer, to venues throughout California. Later, he falls for Anna.”
And no, Darren Lehmann isn’t the second coming but at least he’s not a Saffa, eh?
We’re not denying that Warne is one of the greatest players of all time, certainly in the top five and we could watch his Sky spin bowling master class over and over again. So maybe the key to being great is to know your limitations, stick to those things you’re good at and don’t steal our women.
And to be prepared to lose to win, obviously.