Warne's demise not music to the purists' ears
Instead the lure of the Indian Premier League has taken its toll on Warne, if not on his wallet then certainly on his public profile.
Theologians, revolutionists and rock bands, most recently American quartet Rise Against, have over the years waxed lyrical of how "it's better to die on your feet than to live on your knees" and while Shane Warne is neither a religious revivalist, political rogue nor charismatic lead singer, his international career is certainly dying on its knees.
The Australian legend, for all his 145 Tests and 708 wickets, really should have bid farewell – across versions of the game both pure and contrived – at the turn of the 2007 Ashes.
Instead the lure of the Indian Premier League has taken its toll on Warne, if not on his wallet then certainly on his public profile. Granted, his first couple of tournaments were good, but editions three and four have seen the weathered Warne chance his arm for too long.
A career that should have said goodbye on the back of one last triumph over the English and a then record tally of victims has since taken a back seat to a four-year jaunt in the IPL, which effectively leaves him no more respected than the upstart Indian climbing the Rajasthan Royals ranks.
Four-over bursts void of genuine 'Flippers' and true leg-spin in the hope of having a would-be big-hitter hole out on the fence are a sorry successor to lengthy spells of working the batsmen out in the Test match arena.
Off-field quarrels with the Rajasthan Cricket Association are laughable, and when compared to the intriguing spats he enjoyed with the opposition back in his days with the Australian juggernaut even more pathetic.
Shotgun interviews with fellow IPL clown Danny Morrison in the dugout are a far cry from the impressive thinking the waning legend reeled out across the previous decade.
Furthermore, the fact that Warne announced an end to his 21-year professional career on <I>Twitter</i>, rather than the more suitable medium of, say, a press conference, typifies the Victorian's approach to a game that once revered him.
The fleeting nature of Warne's daily quips across the social network, his cavorting with Liz Hurley and photo ops with Shilpa Shetty are perfect fodder for a contest – and individual – banking on an immature audience unexposed to the real Shane Warne of 1993 through 2007.
Indeed, the lucrative Twenty20 tournament, with all its bells, whistles and empty competition, has effectively rendered a once sound cricketer a veritable media monkey.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan's impending failure to make it to the semi-finals stage as well as their plighted captain's desperate ramblings that the franchise are still in with a hope – and hence his playing days will be extended – only offer another rung to Warne's downward spiral.
An altogether manipulated version of Eminem's 'Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?' ultimately sums up the <I>real</i> cricket publics' view on the 41-year-old castaway ' 'The bogus Shane Warne should please sit down…'
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