It’s not often the following sentence can be expressed as truthful so let’s savour the experience while we can;
When compared with his peers, Shane Warne demonstrated excellent judgement.
No, stop laughing there at the back, he did. For all his very public faults, Warney called time on his international career at the top; he’d just assisted in an absolute walloping of Freddie “Oi! Ooo’s round is it?” Flintoff’s hapless England in a 5-nil series to recover the Ashes.
Contrast this with the worst captain* Australia has ever had; Richard Thomas “Pongo” Ponting. He lost the Ashes on his first attempt as captain and regained them in a whitewash. In hindsight, this was when he should have called time on the captaincy, but not for little Ricky… He then went on to lose them again away and at home for the first time in 26 years, quite some achievement. He then “resigned” the captaincy, or at least that’s what the press release said.
Similarly, the more sympathetic character that is Brett Lee called it quits today after getting home following an historic 4-nil drubbing in England in the one day format.
Now, I’ve always had a lot of time for Bombay Brett; he seems like a bloody nice chap, has a great competitive spirit (play back the footage of his final overs trying to stop the inevitable defeat at the Oval in 2005; he gave it everything he had), plays guitar and likes a beer and a curry. Sounds like most of my favourite mates.
But what is it with the modern sportsman that they can’t see when it’s time to quit? Are they getting bad advice or is it just that they are a bit self-delusional?
Leave them wanting more, there’s nothing worse than still being at the party when they close the bar.
Anyway, among Brett’s many victories, let’s not forget this gem;
* Ricky Ponting lost 3 of 4 Ashes series that he captained, no-one else has done this badly before. The Ashes is the most important cricket competition in the world. Therefore, worst captain Australia has ever had.