Will the real fat Warney please stand up, please stand up

STILL IN SPOTLIGHT: Shane Warne and British actress Liz Hurley.
STILL IN SPOTLIGHT: Shane Warne and British actress Liz Hurley. EPA

ONE of the qualities I respect in professional sportsmen is the ability to shut up and get the job done.

When I think back over the last couple of decades and some of the standouts - people like Steve Waugh, Glenn McGrath, Allan Langer, even Roger Federer - they were the kind of people who didn't seem to need to say anything in order to get the message across.

I'm not saying they were perfect either - we all know Waugh, for example, was a master of the "mental disintegration" of opposing batsmen.

Shane Warne was once part of this golden era of subtle sledging too and, from all reports, a valued contributor.

There was also a time when Warney's bowling alone spoke louder than any words. But after the events of the last week, it appears those times are long gone.

The advent of text messaging and Twitter has done nothing for the reputation of the Sheik of Tweak, who nowadays keeps his spinning fingers warm in between overs by talking trash on public forums.

This week Warne entered a hashtag-ridden to-and-fro with the Adelaide Strikers, criticising the team's selections for the game against Perth.

Big deal right?

Maybe, but I find it kind of a pity that he can't just shut up and bowl.

Remember the young, tubby blonde-haired smart-alec who bowled Mike Gatting around his legs, who was photographed dancing with a stump in hand on the balcony after claiming the 1997 Ashes on foreign soil?

Remember the bloke who hilariously tormented South African Daryll Cullinan - an otherwise top-class international batsman - for several years? There was magic in the way he used to lull a batsman into a false sense of security, before catching them off-guard with a wrong-un or the famous flipper, before screaming at them to "f off" while pointing to the grandstand.

He was never the quintissential gentleman, but this is the Warney I would like to be able to remember if and when he finally gives the game away altogether.

I would like to think that somewhere behind that veneer of trendy clothes, orange sun-tan, weight loss and botox, behind all the slagging off on Twitter, the real Shane Warne is hiding.

Topics:  liz hurley naughty korner opinion shane warne

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