Shane Warne may arguably be the greatest spinner ever to have graced the game but his misdemeanours off the field have often taken precedence over his actions on it – at least since his retirement from the game. Warne’s tendency to being controversy’s favourite child came to the fore once again on Sunday when he was accused of assaulting a woman at a night club in London. Here are a few of the controversies that have plagued the former leg spinner.
Dealings with a bookie: Warne was not the only man to be caught up in this. In 1994, during a tour of Sri Lanka, he alongwith Mark Waugh was accused of making arrangements with an Indian bookie and revealing details of the pitch details and weather conditions.
Banned substance controversy: Perhaps the most prominent controversy of his career, Warne’s international career had been brought to a temporary standstill prior to the 2003 ICC World Cup as he tested positive for a banned substance. He himself admitted to have taken a ‘fluid’ tablet to get into shape. The ban extended to a year in which time he took up commentary positions.
Steve Waugh: Warne has had a checkered relationship with his former captain ever since Steve Waugh dropped him in the third Test of the 1999 tour of West Indies. Most recently, in 2016, Warne had said that Waugh is the “most selfish cricketer” he has played with. “There’s a lot of reasons I don’t like Steve Waugh, a lot of reasons, because he is the most selfish cricketer I’ve played with,” he said.
“Dirty talk” with a British nurse: In 2000, reports surfaced of him nagging a British woman. The woman had stated that Warne was texting her constantly. He was married with two children at the time and he even later on went on to admit that he may have indulged in some “dirty talk” with the woman. The entire episode cost him the Australian vice captaincy.
Smoking during restrictive contract: Warne was in a lucrative contract with Nicorette, a nicotine replacement therapy product, and was supposed to stay away from cigarettes for a certain period of time as part of the contract. But he was photographed smoking in New Zealand during Australia’s tour of the country in 2008. Apparently it was a few boys who took the photos and Warne got into an altercation with them over it.
Ricky Ponting: Ricky Ponting had been critical of Michael Clarke in his autobiography and Warne did not approve of it. Warne said that Ponting’s criticism stems out of jealousy. He also pointed out to the three Ashes defeats that Ponting led them to to show that he wasn’t a great captain for Australia.
Laura Sayers and other sexcapades: Warne’s inability to keep his emotions in check around the opposite sex has come to the fore on multiple occasions. Apart from the “dirty talking” incident, Warne had allegedly asked another British woman, Laura Sayers to join him in a foursome that also allegedly involved England batsman Kevin Pietersen. All this while he was married with two children.
Multiple affairs and seperations: Warne’s wife’s patience ran out in 2007 when it was reported that the couple had seperated. But they got back together until Warne allegedly sent a flirtatious text message that he intended for another woman to his wife itself. Their marriage did not survive that incident. He then got into a relationship with British actress Liz Hurley. The two were engaged but Hurley called off the engagement due to his affair with a porn star.
Rubbishing evolution theory: On the show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here, Warne rubbished the evolution theory and instead suggested humans had originated from aliens. Warne offered cliched, ill-researched justification for his claim, asking if humans did evolve from monkeys, why did all monkeys not evolve.
Assaulting Valerie Fox: In September, 2017, Warne was accused of assaulting porn star Valerie Fox at a nightclub in Mayfair, London.