Shane Warne, the King of Spin, will be remembered as one of the greatest bowlers to have graced the cricket pitch as the news of his death due to a heart attack at 52, has left the world in shock.
However, the bad boy of cricket wasn’t without his share of controversies in his long and illustrious career. From affairs to drugs, and accepting bribes, Shane Warne’s wild side made its presence felt on and off the pitch.
Dealings with bookie
In 1998, Shane Warne and teammate Mark Waugh were accused of accepting bribes from an Indian bookmaker. It turned out that the Australians had secretly been fined by the nation’s cricket board over their actions, though the two remained adamant of having only shared pitch details and weather reports with the individual.
Controversy over substance abuse
The year-long ban has to be the most prominent controversy in Shane Warne’s career. He was ousted from international cricket after admitting to taking a “fluid” tablet to remain in shape. This happened before the 2003 ICC World Cup, and Warne took up commentary positions during this time.
The Steve Waugh controversy
There’s been no love lost between Shane Warne and former Australian captain Steve Waugh. This started when Waugh took the call to drop Warne during the third test of the 1999 West Indies tour.
Pestering a British nurse
Reports emerged in 2000 of Warne pestering a British woman. The nurse alleged that Warne texted her constantly. At the time, he was married with two children. His behaviour cost him the vice-captaincy of the Australian team.
Smoking while on restrictive contract
Warne liked a good smoke, but it jeopardized his lucrative contract with Nicorette, a nicotine replacement product. The Spin King was supposed to stay away from cigarettes for a certain duration due to the contract, but during Australia’s 2008 tour of New Zealand, he was pictured smoking, which landed him in trouble.
Tiff with Ricky Pointing over Michael Clarke
It’s no secret that Warne didn’t get along with many. Among them was his former captain Ricky Pointing. When Pointing was critical of Clarke in his autobiography, Warne alleged that it stemmed out of jealousy and pointed out Pointing’s defeats in Ashes.
Numerous affairs and separations
Warne’s controversies extended to his many affairs which eventually led to his then-wife Simone Callahan leaving him. The two initially split up in 2007, before getting back briefly together. However, Warne sent a flirtatious text, meant for another woman, to his wife. Their marriage didn’t survive the incident. After that, Warne was linked with British actress Elizabeth Hurley, but their relationship didn’t last when it surfaced that Warne had an affair with a porn star.
Discrediting the theory of evolution
Warne’s appearance on the show ‘I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here’ got him in some hot soup when he claimed that humans didn’t evolve from monkeys, and rather came from aliens. He tried justifying it by asking if humans did indeed come from monkeys, why hadn’t all monkeys evolved.
Also read: When Shane Warne was banned for a year
Assault on Valerie Fox
Warne was accused of assaulting Valerie Fox, a porn star, in a London nightclub in 2017.
Despite Warne’s many problematic incidents, his achievements on the field have cemented his place as one of the all-time cricketing greats.