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Warne's bombshell

THERE is something vaguely unrealistic about the announcement made by Shane Warne, a statement to the effect that there are slim chances that he may never play cricket again.

What makes it so, is not so much the statement as the reaction -- there has been little from any quarter. Only Allan Border has said anything -- and that a few days after the announcement. Is this the way the cricket world should react to the possible departure of the finest leg-spinner the game has seen in the last three decades?

Warne chose to make the statement at a low-key function. Doubtless, he could have called a press conference and done so as well; that would possibly have had the impact such news deserves.

One thing is clear: there is no reason for Warne to sensationalise things. If he says there are slim chances of him not playing again, then that is one hundred per cent true. Why then has the Australian media, the cricket board and the cricketing fraternity in general reacted in such a low-key manner?

It does puzzle me. Only one Australian paper, The Age, chose to front-page Warne's announcement and one suspects that this was more due to the reason that Warne hails from Victoria; this paper is published from the capital of this very state.

One reason which has been advanced is the fact that Warne broke the news on the day when former Australian tennis legend Rod Laver suffered a stroke. Competing side by side for space on the front page, Laver would have merited the space more than Warne -- from an Australian perspective.

But that does not account for the silence from the rest of the cricket world. There has been no comment from anybody, be they former cricketers, those in active service or administrators. Border has been the only one.

One wonders: is it part of the general apathy doing the rounds or is an indicator of something more serious? No matter the country one hails from, the loss of a performer like Warne would be a great loss to the game. Cricket lovers everywhere would be the losers. Is this the way we react to the possibility of such a loss?