In My Autobiography, Aussie leg-spin maestro Shane Warne, perhaps the outstanding cricketer of his generation–and one of the most consistently newsworthy characters in sport–takes stock of a phenomenally successful career, and gives his account of the scandals and controversies that have sent the media into spasms of delighted indignation.

From his days as a frustrated teenage wannabe Aussie Rules star, who decided he might as well try his hand at cricket, Warne has almost single-handedly taken the gentle, studious art of spin-bowling and turned it into a thrilling gladiatorial spectacle–on the way gathering career stats that rank him in company with the game’s all-time elite.

Warne crashed into the world spotlight in 1993, when his first-ever ball in Ashes cricket made seasoned England star Mike Gatting look like a floundering buffoon:

In the second or so it took to leave my hand, swerve to pitch outside leg stump, fizz past the batsmen’s lunge forward and clip off stump, my life did change … Ian Botham said he hadn’t seen the same look of wide-eyed horror on Gatting’s face since somebody had stolen his lunch a few years before.

And he has hardly looked back since–on the pitch at least. Outside the boundary rope it has been a different, though no less sensational story. The media has revelled in tales of extra-marital phone-sex, match-fixing controversies, and bust-ups with the game’s authorities and fellow professionals–sparking endless nonsensical speculation as to whether this hard-drinking, smoking “yobbo” was too fat, too loud, too arrogant or just plain too much for cricket to take.

This is a candid chronicle of his side of the story, and along the way there are some wonderful revelations about the mysteries of spin-bowling, the professional art of “sledging”, and a fascinating insider account of Australia’s rise to world dominance. A frank observer of others; an insightful assessor of his own achievements and motivations–and rarely descending into bland PR-consciousness–The King Of Spin has once again confounded all expectations and served up a peach. –Alex Hankin

Shane Warne: My Illustrated Career




  1. A reasonably interesting book though hardly substantive and to put into perspective, by author who has not ever read a book.

    As most autobiographies of sporting greats of his fabric, its full of self glorification. The author’s explanation of dispicable behaviour such as sledging gives us further insight of his grain.

    One particular subject which I found interesting was his scathing attack of Arjuna Ranatunga. It must be noted that it is Ranatunga who is credited with transformation of Sri Lankan cricket, which culminated with her victory at the World cup in 1996(no prizes for guessing who the losing finalists were). Ranatunga during the tournament had daringly claimed that Warne was full of hype (Warne ended wicketless against the Lankans for 58 runs in his 10 overs, including being clubbed for a six by Ranatunga himself!!!)

    Further, Ranatunga as we all know put his career in line and served a suspended ICC sentence in his fiery defence Muttiah Muralitharan in Australia. Its now apparent that Shane Warne will end his career behind Muttiah Muralitharan as the Greatest spin bowler of the game. Presently Warne has 491 wickets in 107 tests at nearly 26 runs per wicket, as against Muralitharan’s 459 wickets in just 82 tests(25 tests less than Warne) at just over 23 and half runs per wicket. Muttiah Muralitharan has been named the greatest bowler in the history of the game by non other than Wisden.

    So had it not been for Ranatunga, would Australia have won the 1996 world cup and Warne been the greatest spinner of all time(as opposed to being the second best)?

    It no doubt appears that Mr Shane Warne firmly believes so.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  2. Isnt a bad read, but could have included more details on touring countries other than England. If you are a big fan of the Ashes ( i dont think there are many left ), this book is a real good read for you guys. The good part is that he does not fear speaking his mind on the various controversies that he has been involved in.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  3. The world’s greatest spin bowler he may be, but a great writer he certainly isn’t. You wonder what was his ghost doing?
    The book has two basic styles: the first is something like: “And then I took five wickets, and I was especially pleased with the flipper that took Fleming’s off stump, and in the second test I got a few runs and we destroyed them in the final test, when, with six wickets, I certainly proved to Tugga I was back to my best.”
    The second comes through whenever he has to deal with controversy: “Well, you could say I am a bit blunt, but if a bloke won’t return your calls when you want to sort it out, I don’t think you can blame me for what happened.”
    Each time the whiff of controversy comes near, Warne airbrushes himself with barely a trace of apology. He sees himself not just as more sinned against than sinning but as hardly sinning at all.
    This was written just before the drugs scandal, so Warne doesn’t have to defend himself on that one, but there is the betting scandal, the remarks to other players, and the saucy phone calls, all of which he flatbats away.
    But, then, let’s be honest, this is pretty typical for sporting autobiographies, and it rather overlooks some of the great nuggets available here. Did you know about how a senior pro in the Australian team leads the singing of the Southern Cross at the end of a match? Or the fact that each player gives a mini-talk to the others about the history of Australia, the history of cricket or a subject of their choice (Warne chose gambling at a casino)?
    These sorts of things help you realise how the Aussie team bond so brilliantly and reflect well on Waugh’s captaincy.
    And if you like cricket, even the run through of “Tests I have played in” is readable enough.
    That said, some cricket books transcend their genre and have a value to the general reader. This isn’t one of them.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  4. But the adaptation wasn’t really to my liking. Far too short. 2 hours only! And he does concentrate on a lot of statical accomplishments.
    But otherwise an honest recollection of the last 10 years.
    If I were an Aussie fan, I’d listen to the tapes forever. But I’m not.
    Rating: 3 / 5

  5. Anonymous says:

    A must for all fans of this genius of leg spin. Some interesting comments on team mates and the oppo and some brilliant in action photography.
    Rating: 4 / 5

Leave a Comment