25 January, 2021

Pitch Leg, Hit Off

Warne's been true to his Black Rock roots, where sport is king and boys will be boys

Pitch Leg, Hit Off
To understand Shane Warne, you might want to imagine a place called Black Rock, one of a string of beachside suburbs west of Melbourne, capital of the southern state of Victoria. Black Rock is a place of broad streets, neat lawns and brick houses with two cars in the driveway. Australians would not call Black Rock wealthy, but it is hedonistic and ‘aspirational’: a suburb where families raise children to enjoy their good fortune in being born in such a place. To some eyes, Black Rock is archetypal Australia. Life revolves around sport, the beach, and boys meeting girls.

Black Rock is where Shane Warne grew up, and he has never moved far away, either geographically or spiritually. Nor has he moved from the Black Rock that remains resolutely in Australia’s past: the area is ‘racially’ white, with hardly a bookshop or an ethnic restaurant. Sport holds the community together. In the words of one of Warne’s biographers, Louis Nowra, in Black Rock "to be good at sport is to be admired...in fact, the bayside’s anti-intellectual attitude is in keeping with the proud...



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