Saturday, 21 May 2011

Warne out

Look out Liz, here I come.......
Fantasy Bob pays tribute to Shane Warne who played his last match for the Rajasthan Royals yesterday before retiring into the arms of Liz Hurley.

In FB's view no praise is too great for Warne as a player and the best captain Australia never had.  Despite all the stories, the bad behaviour, the bad press he is a great of the game.  He mastered the technical skills of spin bowling as well as anyone, but then added the showmanship and the psychology that contributed greatly to his haul of wickets.  'Yes, he had been working on a new mystery ball for the new series.'  Had he?  Or did he just have the same range but varied the mix with greater disguise and flair.  Who knows?  FB is disappointed that he never had the opportunity to see him live but he is also thankful for one thing - that he never had to face him.  Carlton's ever lengthening cast of junior leg spinners queue up to bowl at FB in the nets, knowing that comedy capers are on their way.   That is traumatic enough and FB has to lie down afterwards in a dark room - what, therefore, would the ball of the century that ripped past Mike Gatting in 1993 have done to him?

Warne is not the only cricketing Shane, although he was the first; and Shane Watson, also a Rajasthan Royal, takes over the mantle.  FB wonders whether a law may have secretly been passed in the Australian Parliament to ensure that the Australian team must have a player called Shane, or the koalas will fall out of the trees or some equally dire fate. 

But Shane is not that common a name.  It is a derivative of Sean but was popularised by the great 1953 Western Shane, which tells of a roaming gunslinger, Shane played by Alan Ladd, who comes to the rescue of a farm steading family on the High Plains of Wyoming.  Shane is rated the 3rd best Western of all time, and its story is one of the definitive Western myths describing how law and order being brought to the wilderness through individual fortitude and the power of the gun.  Its story is still definitive of many enduring American values and marks out the chasm of cultural differences from Europeans.  No Western has ever made any reference to cricket and no gunslinger ever walked when he nicked one. 'A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do' never referred to scoring 50 at a run a ball.

Shane is a significant movie in several other ways; it was the first to be projected in a flat widescreen, a format that Paramount invented to counter the growing lure of TV.  This format could show panoramic vistas - wide screen entertainment - that the previous Academy aspect could not. Although there was a slight change in the screen dimensions shortly after, this aspect became and remains the dominant aspect in movie production.  TV now is also in a wide screen format, but it took many years to catch up. Shane was one of the first films to attempt to re-create the overwhelming sound of gunfire, rather than the pop-gun sound effects of earlier efforts.  Shane was also one of the first films in which actors were attached to hidden wires that yanked them backwards when they were shot from the front.  Reports say that this reflects the direct experience and observation of director George Stevens during his service in World War II who saw close up what a single bullet can do.

I reckon the flipper is next......

...........or the mystery ball.........
So, all in all, Shane whether as cricketer or movie is a pretty innovative and important name.  They are both assured their place in posterity.

1 comment:

  1. Shane Warne was certainly a gunslinger of the highest order and it is no exaggeration to say that he revolutionised the game of cricket, which had been dominated for 20 years by the relentless pace bowling of the West indies and Australia. For that we owe him our undying gratitude.