Shane Warne’s indelible mark on cricket could not have been more emphasized than the overwhelming send off at the hallowed MCG.
Melbourne and Australia’s iconic hero who took the world by storm with his uncanny talent that revolutionised leg spin, was given an unforgettable send off in the final siren of the life of a champion.
He was not just a champion of sport, he championed what a true sportsman should be. The fact that Warnie was a fiercely a competitive cricketer who would stop at nothing to swing the scales in favour of whom he represented, was testament to his commitment in whatever he undertook.
While everyone stereotyped him to be a cricketer or to a lesser degree a Footy wannabe, Warnie was very much more.
He filled a lifetime so short, fulfilling more than many could envisage outside of his rare cricketing exploits by also being a caring thoughtful human being who had that uncanny knack of finding time to make lesser mortals feel important.
Time management for a high profile human is a herculean task but Warnie was as much a magician at it as his leg spin was, as many beneficiaries would readily attest.
He would find time for anyone immaterial of their status in life just to put a smile on their face.
He has touched the hearts of fans all around the world. Sri Lanka, his favourite country in the world for reasons close to his heart. His best early exploits beginning in the Island nation, will forever be remembered as was his dash to help when the Tsunami devastated the country and his favourite venue Galle, which he contributed greatly to rebuild. He was answering an SOS from friend Muttiah Muralitheran the world’s highest wicket taker in Tests.
That is what sets him apart from anyone else who played the game.
A larrikin for most parts, on and off the field, he however is remembered for his massive contribution to bring comfort to those seeking upliftment.
Outrageous at some times, yet unassuming and down to earth, Warnie left an indelible mark on whom he interacted with. But there was a sense he revelled in the limelight.
He leaves this world a monumental human being apart from a cricketing icon.
His critics, which would not be too many, would ungrudginglly bow to a man who was bigger than most as a evenly balanced human in a world which has absolutely no perfection.
A parade of former team mates, past captain’s and some of the best players around the globe were unstinting in their respect and praise for Australia’s iconic leggie who left a lasting memory of a loved team mate and feared player.
What a cross section of society turned up to his final send off at the MCG, all paying homage to a charismatic character that touched many spectrums of people from all walks of life with a common focus, to honour a man that had no disrespect for anyone.
Elton John, heralded a galaxy of super stat’s paying tribute which included Robbie Williams, Ed Sheeran, Danny Minogue and a host of others including his grieving family.
Tributes flowed from far and wide around the globe in a heart rendering farewell to a man that touched them in innumerable ways as an opponent, player and ever available advisor to anyone who needed his advice on how to improve their technical skills.
His memory will live long in the hearts of all who played with him, against him and who were privileged to to share his company in different parts of their interaction, whatever it was.
Be leaves a lasting memory of a legend and beautiful personality gone too soon.