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Bermuda remembers Shane Warne

The death of Shane Warne, the former Australia leg spinner, rocked the cricket world yesterday, including many former players in Bermuda who remember seeing the great Australia team in action during two tours to the island in 1991 and 1995.

Warne, 52, died of a suspected heart attack while on holiday in Thailand.

Warne, who was named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Century, claimed 708 Test wickets in a 15-year career between 1992 and 2007 in which he played 145 Tests.

He also won the World Cup with Australia in 1999, playing 194 one-day internationals in total and claiming 293 wickets.

Warne did not come to Bermuda in 1991 with the Australia team at the end of the tour to the West Indies, but made his debut the next year against India in Sydney.

In the opening match of the three-match 1995 tour to Bermuda, the Australians beat St George’s by 53 runs at Wellington Oval. Warne did not fully extend himself when bowling, as he was recovering from a shoulder strain sustained in the Caribbean.

Warne did score 25 runs in their innings of 235 before restricting St George’s to 182 for nine. The Australians were 144 for seven at one stage.

It was before Delray Rawlins’s time — born in 1997 — but the top Bermuda all-rounder who plays for English County team Sussex and is a spinner himself of the left-arm variety, knows of Warne’s reputation as the master of the art of slow bowling.

“This is shocking news; sort of a weird feeling,” Rawlins said. “He feels like one of those guys that shouldn’t leave us.

“A true inspiration to many cricketers and people in general.”

Shane Warne left a lasting impression when he toured Bermuda in 1995. The legendary Australian wrist spinner died of a suspected heart attack yesterday at the age of 52 while on holiday in Thailand (Photograph by Rui Vieira/PA/AP)

Graham Fox, the St George’s captain in 1995, led a middle-order fightback with a valuable 28 while bowlers Anthony Braithwaite (42) and Dale Fox (31 not out) scored valuable runs in the tailend as the host team batted out their 50 overs.

“The first ball he bowled at me, I hit him for a six,” Fox said. “He had just come off a shoulder injury and bowled it rank short.

“He didn’t get me out, but he did hit me in the chest with a ball that turned.

“The guy was clearly a great bowler. These were world-class players. I said at the end of the match that they had beaten the West Indies for the first time [in 22 years] and these guys were great players.”

Fox added: “We were so happy to play against them; it’s just sad that things like that don’t happen any more in Bermuda. They played against us in 1991 when we almost beat them when Wendell [Smith] was captain.

“And because we gave them such a good game that time, they requested to play against St George’s again when they came back in 1995.”

That St George’s team also included Ricky Hodsoll, Arnold Manders, Eugene Foggo, Clevie Wade, Cleon Scotland, Gregory Sampson, Lewis Foggo, David Adams and the opening bowlers Braithwaite and Fox.

Ian Healy captained the Australian team in the opening match in Bermuda as Mark Taylor sat out. They closed out their 1995 tour with victories over a President’s XI captained by Dexter Basden and the Bermuda team led by Albert Steede.

Anthony “Porky” Manders made his debut for Bermuda against the Australians that year, as the wicketkeeper in the absence of Dean Minors, who was abroad. David Adams also made his debut for Bermuda in that match.

The Australians scored 225 and then restricted Bermuda to 207 for nine, with Steede scoring 32 in 57 minutes before he was bowled by Warne, who claimed three for 11 from his ten overs, which included five maidens.

“That’s what I remember the most,” Steede said of his dismissal, a trademark Warne flipper that sped off the pitch and stayed low.

“He gave me a leg break and then aired it up a bit more. The third ball was a flipper and I was going to pull it, but it never came up.

“It was a flatter ball that was shorter and faster and shot off the wicket. I’ll never forget that; I thought he made a mistake and just bowled a short ball!

“Not only to see him play but to actually face him was quite an experience because of the things he did with the ball. He was very deceptive with his deliveries. He was talented beyond his years — a remarkable bowler, very skilled.”

Steede, 53, added: “It’s said to hear; he’s younger than me! You see all the condolences sent from all over the world. He was a legend!

“Tomorrow is not guaranteed; you have to live life to the fullest and be thankful for our blessings, as tomorrow is not guaranteed.”

In that match, Manders scored 23 and Adams 27 as they shared in an unbroken last-wicket stand of 32 off just 4.4 overs to keep the crowd entertained.

Manders has also since passed, in January 2021, at the age of 59. So, too, George Rock, Bermuda’s bowling coach that year, who died last month aged 85.

Arnold Manders, who faced Warne during the 1995 tour, spoke on his passing in his capacity as president of the Bermuda Cricket Board.

“He was a legend of the game,” Manders said. “The best leg spinner and probably one of the best bowlers in the history of the game.

“Our thoughts and condolences go out to his family and all of Australia in losing two legends in the space of 24 hours, with the passing of another Australian legend in Rodney Marsh.

“Shane was a free spirit, an icon of the game and cricket’s true entertainer. May both players rest in peace. He will be truly missed by the entire cricket fraternity.”

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Published March 05, 2022 at 8:06 am (Updated March 06, 2022 at 8:01 am)

Bermuda remembers Shane Warne

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