Shane Warne is an Australian Cricketer. He was born on September 13th, 1969, in Ferntree Gully, Victoria. He is considered one of the best leg spin bowlers in the history of cricket.
Warne is exactly 6 feet tall, with a right handed batting style, and right-armed bowling style. He made his Test Cricket debut in 1992, and retired from both International and Test Cricket in January 2007. However, he still plays as Captain for Hampshire (England) and will be a featured player at the Indian Premier League (IPL)
Warne's first major cricket match was on the 15th February 1991, when he played for Victoria at the Melbourne Junction Oval - his performance in the match led to him being selected for the Australia B team, and from there he quickly graduated up to the A team, and then the Australian Test Team. His first season as a Test player was rather poor, as was the beginning of his second season, however a good performance in a crucial match against Sri Lanka led to him being kept on, and he developed into one of the most well known, and feared, bowlers of his time with a bowling average of 26 runs per wicket.
Shane Warne has taken part in 145 Test matches in his career. His Test debut saw him taking over from Peter Taylor to bowl in the Third Test against India in December of 1991. He performed poorly - taking 1/150 in 45 overs, and 1/228 in his first series. The start of his second series was also weak, but he pulled out a good performance to salvage an important game - going 3/11 in the second innings of a game against Sri Lanka in Columbo - saving the game, and quite possibly his Test career.
The rest of the season was also an improvement, and he quickly became one of the most respected leg spin bowlers of his time. The art of leg spin bowling was considered to be a dying one, as it is difficult to execute correctly, and fast bowling was considered easier, and more powerful.
Warne became a very feared bowler - tormenting some batsmen so that he could retain a psychological hold over them which was arguably just as important as his own bowling ability.
During his career, he gained several accolades - he was selected as Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1994, One-Day International Player of the Year in 2000, and Test Player of the Year in 2006. He was also selected as one of five Wisden Cricketers of the Century in 2000.
Warne announced his retirement from Test Cricket on 21st December 2006 - just five days after a heroic performance against England in the Ashes at Adelaide. His last match was again against England - at the SCG in Sidney - he took his 1000th international Wicket, and ended his Test career in the same place it had began 15 years earlier.
Warne's mother was born in Germany, but Warne himself was born in Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria. He was married to Simone Callahan, and they had three children together - Brooke, Summer and Jackson. Simone and Shane separated in June 2005, and have since divorced.
Warne's private life has been the subject of much scrutiny by British tabloids - he has allegedly been involved in several extramarital affairs, as well as sending lewd messages to a South African woman, although the woman who made this accusation was later charged with extortion.
Away from cricket, Warne was involved in many corporate endorsements. Since retiring from Test Cricket, he has signed a two year agreement with 888 Poker to represent them at poker events such as the companies 888 UK Poker Open, the Crown Casino Aussie Millions, and the World Series of Poker (WSOP).
Shane Warne has also spent a lot of his post-retirement time working for the Shane Warne Foundation (TWSF) - a charity which assists seriously ill and underprivileged children. The charity has distributed £400,000 amongst deserving causes since 2004, and aims to more than triple that amount by summer 2008. The foundation also partnered with 888 in 2009 for the Bush Fire Relief Charity Tournament.
Shane Warne was a popular attractuib at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) for many years. The first leg-spin bowler in 25 years to be able to meet the standard of the legendary Richie Benaud, Warne revived that unique style of bowling and became one of the most feared in the Test arena.
Warne earned nicknames such as 'The Sultan of Spin", and, rare for such a strong bowler, his batting was equally aggressive.
Warne was once a reserve footballer for St Kilda, and made the leap to test cricket in the 1991-1992 season. He cemented his place in Test cricket in his first Test at the MCG - against the West Indies at the start of the 1992-1993 season - where he took eight wickets and went 7/52 in the second innings - wowing the Melbourne crowd, and becoming a firm fan favourite.
Warne often gave his best performances for the home crowd -during the 1994-1995 season, he gave another incredible performance at the MCG - taking a hat-trick in a return series against England. In total, Warne has made 11 Test appearances on the MCG - placing him in the top ten for appearances by Australian cricketers.
Warne still plays Cricket occasionally even now, although he has retired from the Test Scene. He takes part in charity and celebrity matches, including ones organised for his charity, The Shane Warne Foundation.
While Shane Warne is a feared bowler, who has intimidated many of his opponents with his aggressive style and psychological games on the pitch, he is still a popular player, both with fans, and his fellow cricketers.
South African skipper Graeme Smith spoke highly of Warne recently, saying that he was looking forward to playing with Warne in the inaugural Indian Premier League match.
"I will be sharing the same team as Shane Warne." said Smith, "It will be a unique challenge as we have been competitive against each other in the past and now we will be team mates. [...] It is a good concept and we are looking forward to it as players."
The IPL is a money-spinning, limited-overs tournament which runs over a period of 44 days. The tournament includes several stars, such as Jacques Kallis, Makhaya Ntini, and Shaun Pollock.