02 August, 2021

A Flipper That Turned Square

Warne wastes words rambling on his growing up, affairs and escapades. On spin bowling, cricketing personages and vignettes he delivers like a maestro.

Photograph by Getty Images
A Flipper That Turned Square

Autobiography is seldom as interesting as biography, and the reason is simple. Life stories told from within do not join the dots to reveal character as definitively as those told by someone with the benefit of distance in time and space. The element of self-justification that tends to creep into autobiographies often ruins them, even if the ghost, as in this case, is as fine a journalist as Mark Nicholas.

This is not a book of introspection; it is unlikely that Shane Warne understood himself better at the end of it. We certainly do not. Had it clocked in at, say, 250 pages and stuck to cricket and cricketers, it might have been engaging, but there’s too much information here we can do without.

The greatest leg spinner to have played the game, one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the 20th century (the others being Don Bradman, Garry Sobers, Jack Hobbs and Vivian Rich­ards), Shane Warne tells us, sometimes disjointedly, about his growing up years, love affairs, sexual escapades, his list of the best players and so on. He confesses that he loves...

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