‘He made you believe the impossible’: Gideon Haigh on Shane Warne

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‘He made you believe the impossible’: Gideon Haigh on Shane Warne

We celebrate the 100th episode of the 81allout podcast with an illuminating conversation with Gideon Haigh – the gold standard when it comes to cricket writing.

We could have spoken to Gideon about anything – cricket or otherwise – but we chose to focus on his brilliant book On Warne – a remarkably original take on one of the most original of cricketers. Gideon talks about Warne’s ability to “make the unscripted look scripted” and why he was such a joy to write about.

(PSA: We will be donating all your contributions till the end of June towards Covid relief in India. We plan to match your contributions upto $800) 

Talking Points:
  • Writing a book in 31 days
  • The thrill of writing about Warne’s mastery
  • Warne coming along at the ‘perfect time’
  • Would a cricketer like Warne have succeeded in the 1970s?
  • The SSC Test in 1993 – when Warne found himself in international cricket
  • The ball of the century – and the perfection of timing
  • The archetypical cricketer in the televised age
  • The theatre of Warne – and the art of manipulating everyone around him
  • The hard yards that often get overlooked by the magical highlights
  • Warne and the media – a never-ending saga
  • How Warne was so open about his skill – and yet fooled batsman after batsman
  • The post-retirement phase in Warne’s life
  • How the Warne legend is likely to endure


Gideon Haigh

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Mahesh Sethuraman (@cornerd)


The man who became legspin – Gideon Haigh – ESPNcricinfo

The ball of the century – cricket.com.au

‘We dominated for over four days but lost in half a session’ – ESPNcricinfo on the 1993 Sri Lanka v Australia Test in Colombo

Hits and myths of Shane Warne, a suburban hero – Gideon Haigh – The Australian

Legspin masterclass with Shane Warne – Cricket Masterclass video

281-degree panorama – Shane Warne on VVS Laxman’s 281 in Kolkata in 2001 – The Cricket Monthly

Books discussed:

No Spin: My Autobiography – Shane Warne

The Vincibles – Gideon Haigh

Mystery Spinner: The story of Jack Iverson – Gideon Haigh

The Big Ship: Warwick Armstrong and the Making of Modern Cricket – Gideon Haigh

Stroke of Genius: Victor Trumper and the Shot that Changed Cricket – Gideon Haigh

Crossing the Line – Gideon Haigh


Lead image from here.

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