Cricket will be poorer without Warne: Hadlee
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 22nd December 2006
New Zealand cricket great and former world Test-wicket record-holder
Sir Richard Hadlee said Thursday the sport would be poorer without
retiring Australian leg spinning great Shane Warne.
Hadlee, who held the world record of 431 when he retired in 1990, was
in awe of Warne and his record 699 scalps.
"A lot of batsmen in world cricket will be delighted to learn he's
leaving the game but I think the game will be poorer without him," the
former seam bowling kingpin told Radio Sport. "He has been a
match-winner, flamboyant and just incredible to watch. I've admired his
skills over a long period of time."
Warne on Thursday announced his retirement from international and
Australian cricket at the end of the current Ashes series against
England, pulling stumps on a flamboyant career.
Hadlee said the controversial off-field moments in Warne's career
should be ignored, given what he has contributed to the sport.
"As far as I'm concerned it doesn't diminish any of his achievements
whatsoever," he said. "When you're a high profile person, people are
looking to attack your personal life, perhaps pull you down. To Warne's
credit, he's still soldiered on. His performances on the field do all
the talking," he said, adding "the leg spin delivery is the hardest
ball to bowl in cricket."
Despite his praise of the 37-year-old Warne, Hadlee wondered whether
Sri Lanka's 34-year-old spinning wizard Muttiah Muralitharan would move
past him when the game's true greats are measured years from now.
"Even now, Murali, I think, has had a greater impact on the game than
perhaps Warnie," he said, citing the Sri Lankan's superior strike rate
and average over 110 tests.
Muralitharan has taken 674 wickets at an average of 21.73, nearly four
runs a wicket better than Warne.