From offers of bribes to failed marriages and relationships, spin legend Shane Warne, one of the greats of cricket, shares the highs and lows of his life in and outside the game in his new book, No Spin. Shane Warne, in an exclusive chat with NDTV, touched on various facets of his life. “The book is an intense, personal account of my life. I’ve been brutally honest in the book. About my personal life, my relationship with my children, cricket family. I’ve gone in-depth about everything, especially the IPL 2008,” Warne said.
Warne, in his book, also talks of the time when former Pakistan batsman Saleem Malik had offered him money (during the Karachi Test in the 1994-95 series).
“Saleem Malik offered me 200,000 US dollars, he said it will be in my room in half-an-hour if I bowl wide of the off-stump and the match was a draw. That’s the bottom line of what he asked,” Warne told NDTV.
The 49-year-old cricketer also recalled the time when he was offered money by a bookie in Sri Lanka.
“I lost 5000 thousand dollars in a casino and a friend of Mark Waugh said, ‘look, here is the 5000’ and I said ‘no, I’m okay’. But he said, ‘no strings attached and no nothing’ and that was that,” Warne recalled.
Warne went through a rough patch when he got divorced from wife Simone Callahan in 2005. Then he got engaged to Elizabeth Hurley but that also didn’t last long.
“It’s never easy for the children when their parents break up. But they have been fantastic to both their mother and me. Now, we have got a fantastic relationship and at the end of the day, the ups and downs in our life, make us who we are. I’m very lucky to have a terrific relationship with my children,” Warne said.
“I’ve had only two proper relationships in my life. Married for 10 years to Simone and I was engaged with Elizabeth but unfortunately, the relationship just fizzled out in the end. But we are still great friends now.
“It was nothing that she did wrong or I did wrong. It was one of those things that didn’t work out. Her son Damien and my children, all get along and I still keep in touch which is really nice,” the former cricketer said.
Warne said that Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara were the best batsmen of his generation and it is difficult to choose between them.
“Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara, easily, were the best batsmen of our generation, my time. If I want someone to score a hundred on the final day of the Test series, I would send Lara. But if I want someone to bat for my life day in, day out, I would send Tendulkar, he was a class act,” Warne remarked.
Warne, who shares a very close friendship with Tendulkar, recalled the first time he faced him on the field. In fact, that was Warne’s first Test match.
“I didn’t know half my team. I had to introduce myself to the team. I remember playing the Test match, where Ravi Shastri played beautifully.
“I dropped him caught and bowled on 66 and he went onto make 206 and Sachin, who looked about 12, I think he was 17, went to make a hundred as well. It was my first introduced to India. We won the series comfortably,” Warne said.
“It was a great way to start my friendship with Sachin and Ravi and it was great to play against India,” Warne quipped.
The 49-year-old bowler also shed some light on when he used to get 3000 dollars in the early days for playing cricket. In order to support himself, he also worked at a pizza shop.
Warne also said how his poor record in Tests in India as compared to other countries does not affect him.
“It’s not a regret. I had a shoulder and a finger operation in two of the tours in India which was really disappointing. The Indian side back then with Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman and Sehwag. It was very hard over there in India. I gave my best but they were too good,” he said.