No Spin by Shane Warne: Turn, turn, turn again

Sayantan Ghosh
Sayantan GhoshSep 15, 2023 | 17:17

No Spin by Shane Warne: Turn, turn, turn again

Shane Warne would have turned fifty-four this week. That’s sadly not meant to be and now the closest we can get to this modern-day maestro is either through highlights of his career, and there are so many, on YouTube videos or reading about his life. And this stream-of-consciousness memoir from Shane, written with the help of commentator and broadcaster Mark Nicholas, is perhaps always going to be the best place to start.


No Spin opens with a chapter giving a blow-by-blow account – really wish that saying was ball-by-ball account instead just for today’s column – of the Boxing Day match between Australia and England in which Warne became the first bowler on the planet to take 700 wickets in Test cricket. On the very first page of the book, Warne writes:

“Lying low hasn’t been my thing.”

That 700th dismissal was his grandest announcement to the world that there’s never been one like him on the cricketing field. He compares his life to the 1998 sci-fi/drama, The Truman Show, pointing out how he became from a boy to a man on television sets, making a few mistakes but entertaining and bringing happiness to people along the way.

Shane Keith Warne (September 13, 1969 – March 4, 2022) lived like a rockstar in the truest sense, the blond leggie surrounded by controversies, scandals, beers, and smokes. This account captures that very essence of his spirit – the slight casualness towards elemental things in life while never actually losing his focus on the bull's eye.

And that includes cricket, in which he eventually achieved greatness, which he chanced upon in the winter of 1989 because he didn’t get to play Australian rules football – a game he claimed was his first love – and got to “hang out with a bunch of great guys who loved a beer and taught me how to drink a pint”.


Nicholas had said in a pre-release interview that he didn’t want to intervene and write his own sentences in the book, so that as one reads it, one is able to feel Warne’s unusual energy around them. For people like me who have loved the game and shall always remember Warne as one of the finest practitioners of it, there’s little more we can ask for. A wizard with the ball, a flawed showman, and hopefully still turning enough heads wherever he went from here.

Last updated: September 15, 2023 | 17:17
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