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We are sorry Shane, but you are passed over

Posted by Sathyamurthy www.sathyamurthy.com on December 23, 2005

Warne’s “cheap” slur against Murali annoys Sri Lanka great

By Rex Clementine

COLOMBO (AFP) – Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga on Thursday slammed record-breaking spinner Shane Warne for suggesting that rivals like Muttiah Muralitharan benefited by taking “cheap” wickets.

“Shane tries to be larger than the game and life and expects a lot of credit for his performances. He thinks there’s no better bowler than him,” Ranatunga told AFP.

The Australian leg-spinner said earlier this week that his world record tallies of 651 career wickets and 87 in a calender year will not last long because other bowlers got a lot of wickets against weaker opponents.

Without naming Sri Lankan Muralitharan, his nearest rival with 584 wickets, Warne said: “There’s a lot more cricket being played these days and you have teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in there, with some teams playing them a lot more (than others).

“I’ve never played a Test against Bangladesh and only one against Zimbabwe, but there are some teams out there that play them a lot.

“Some blokes bowl at one end all day against those sort of countries and take lots of wickets. I’m sure that whoever those people are, they might get the record.”

The Australian newspaper, which quoted Warne, said: “It doesn’t take a sudoku expert or a Da Vinci Code sleuth to work out who ‘those people’ are.”

Muralitharan has taken more wickets (89) against Test minnows Zimbabwe than any other nation. The off-spinner also has 34 wickets in four Tests against Bangladesh — an average of more than eight wickets a match.

Warne will play his first two Tests against Bangladesh when Australia visit the South Asian nation in April. Sri Lanka will also tour Bangladesh in February-March.

Ranatunga, who led Sri Lanka to World Cup glory in 1996, said Warne’s argument against his rivals did not stand up.

“Warne takes a lot of wickets against England, South Africa and New Zealand who generally don’t play spin all that well,” said Ranatunga.

“But take a look at his record against the Indians who play spin best. I am not lying, check the statistics and judge for yourself and you would know who the better spinner is.”

Warne has taken 172 wickets against England, 107 wickets against South Africa and 103 against New Zealand.

But the leg-spinner has managed only 43 wickets against the Indians at an embarrasing average of 47.19 — compared to Muralitharan’s 73 wickets against them.

“Warne also gets a lot of tail-end wickets and I have always said that he’s an overrated bowler,” Ranatunga said.

“Question marks will always hover around Warne’s performances. After all, he is the one and only Test cricketer banned from the game for taking drugs.”

Warne served a 12-month suspension from the game after being found guilty of taking a banned diuretic ahead of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

“Can Warne be a role model for any youngster?” asked Ranatunga. “How many controversies he’s been part of.

“Warne can never be a role model and I don’t want any Sri Lankan youngsters to follow him as a role model.”

My take on the above:

There have been many greats in the game of cricket.

We ourselves have seen many and have read about many of them. Greatness is bestowed on people who excel in their field be it leadership, batting, bowling, wicket-keeping, fielding or all round abilities.

The reason that one is performing exceedingly well doesn’t mean that the person has become THE GREATEST. The history of the game has not seen anyone yet to be named THE GREATEST. To my little knowledge only two have come very close to being called THE GREATEST.

One is, Sir Donald Bradman – whose batting consistency was such that it would take a more than Bradmanish batting to surpass that. If you have to beat Bradman you should bat him out. Currently he is light years ahead of any contemporary batsman.

The other is Sir Garfield Sobers – for his allround performance – batting , bowling and fielding. Though we have seen other brilliant allrounders such as Ian Botham, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Sir Richard Hadlee, no one has come close enough to usurp the supremacy of Sobers mainly because none has shown the similar authority on the cricket field that consistenly.

Leaving these two, you have only seen great players.

When that be the case, how someone can get overboard about his achievement and starts belittling another contempary performer is very unsportsmanlike.

I am talking about the tacit remarks of Shane Warne about Muralidharan. Shane considers that Murali has bowled more against the weaker test playing nations and hence he has taken more wickets. He considers that he has taken all his wickets not against weaker test playing nations.

The remark is unwarranted. It is for the fans to decide who is superior to whom. Ask any Indian Cricket fan and he will tell you how ordinary a bowler is Shane Warne. He will definitely consider the craft of Murali much better than Shane Warne.

If Shane considers Murali’s wickets against Bangaladesh and Zimbabwe as low ranking, where should we rate all those wickets Warne has taken against a low ranked England, New Zealand and West Indies, traditional poor players of spin? What is Warne’s performance against India and Pakistan? Is it earth shattering?

Warne should realise that he is not yet and no where near to be the greatest and even if he is, he is not conferred with the job of rating other bowlers and their wickets.

I really appreciate Arujuna Ranatunga for retaliating to Shane Warne in the way he has done.

Shane Warne can be the highest wicket taker at present in test cricket, he is certainly not a role model material for youngsters.

We are sorry Shane, but you are passed over!!!

Have you seen my other blog?

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2 Responses to “We are sorry Shane, but you are passed over”

  1. Sarathguru Vijayananda said

    Sam,

    You are absolutely right pointing out that it is not his job rating any bowler especially Murali. Murali has done exceptionally well against all the Test playing nations who play spin well. Needless to mention that the teams what he calls as weaker part of the lot, definitely better than those in the likes of England, South Africa and New Zealand when it comes to play spin.

  2. Anonymous said

    Hi,

    I am with Shane on this….
    One, Shane didn’t give any names explicitly. As a person and as a bowler Shane has been very aggressive (no pun intended 🙂 He likes to work over his opponents that is his method. As a spectator I like the way he does these.

    Also one more point to note is Murali has not played against Indians from 1997 till this recent series. This is the period where Murali has been in his peak, earlier Murali was smashed for 8-9 sixes by sherry! let us not forget that. So who said Murali has better record.. he hasn’t even played and Indians.

    One reason Shane is not successful is Indians played him with care and well. Credit to Indian players like Laxman, Sidhu. That doesn’t mean Shane bowled badly. Shane has one more factor, his team has lots of good bowlers and wickets get split over like in the Windies days. The biggest plus with Shane is he never bowls negative, Murali bowls negative line the moment a batsmen steps down the track once and smacks him for a six.

    Shane Warne is a one of, we have to love or hate him for what he is…. he WILL NOT change….

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