I don’t like Shane Warne much because he’s no champion Australian as a bloke (his “foundation” is mainly funded by others), but Warne is a champion Australian cricketer, and it would be great to see him back.
So don’t knock cricket.
As a cricketer you must toil all day in the searing sun, thundering up with blistered feet – over upon over to the crease, bowling your heart out on a lifeless pitch, only to have your big heart (but not, spirit) broken when your own captain drops a sitter.
As a cricketer you must spend hours under the scorching sun, or in freezing wind-chilled conditions, fielding, yet remain supple and alert for the slightest chance of a catch, stumping or run out.
As a cricketer you must know just when (and how) to bowl that bouncer at their top bat. Or just when to duck or stand your ground to hook for six a skull -threatening terrifying bouncer from Glenn McGrath or Darren Gough like quickies.
You must use guile to spin the ball, to beat the bat and, when batting, to beat the spin of the ball.
As a cricketer you must persevere extra hours batting at the crease, exhausted, with back breaking and feet bursting – even though you’ve hit your ton to help your last terrified tail-ender team-mate force a draw to save the series, or clinch a magnificent win of bringing the Ashes back home.
Cricket reflects life: 95 per cent high-strive and only 5 per cent high-five. And not the other way about.