Shane the magician — bowling spell!

Death hits you hard like nothing else can. When my Mom died, even after a prolonged sickness giving me enough time to absorb, it hit hard. Memories come haunting by. Many nights I just stared at the ceiling with her images flying by the innermost heart. Memories! Ah, memories. What would we be without them?

Yesterday was one such evening as the news that Shane Warne, the magician with the ball, had passed on. It suddenly felt strange and unreal. Probably he is the first cricketing legend my generation had the honour of watching live to have passed on. Memories, they came in plenty.

My generation Indian cricket lovers hated the Aussies. How could you love them, for they beat us for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that blindfolded. Yet, nobody ever hated Warne. Can anyone ever do so?

All of us just copied his gentle walk to the bowling crease. Ball twirling in his hand. From one hand to the other. As if petting the ball to fall where he wanted it to be. For when Warne spoke, the ball listened. It drifted beautifully to pitch outside leg stump. Took a 47' left turn, spun at the rate of 250 knots. The ball had already been instructed to do so. Then the Warne exultation! The batsman’s confused looks.

But Warne wasn’t all about spin! It was the personality. Warnie’s personality. The colour, the charm he brought to the game. He even won an IPL by the sheer dint of his personality. The wizardish looks, the wry smile after beating the bat, the audacious fields, ‘bowled warnie’ chants. Hell, he even commentated bamboozling a batsman live on TV!.

The single binding memory of Warne for me was when the magician meets his match in Sachin or Lara and once Laxman. You can see the brain ticking. Every ball becomes a chess move. constant change in fields. A four over plan in place. Warne, the magician scheming. You sense the buzz! Something had to give in. Inevitably something gave in.

You gave in too early Warnie!A little too early. RIP. You have given us a lot of memories to savour for a lifetime though.

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