On Warne (Gideon Haigh, Viking)
This book reveals two of life’s certainties: one, that Gideon Haigh is an outstanding writer, and two, that Shane Warne’s tabloid-fodder life is utterly compelling. Bring the two together and you have a success on your hands. In the succinctly titled On Warne, Haigh analyses Warne’s career highs and lows, and the cringe-inducing off-field incidents that many of us know so well. The latter include Warne’s extra-marital affairs, his flirtation with hair plugs, that hidden camera footage of Warne dancing in his Playboy underpants, his failed attempts to quit smoking, and those weight-loss pills prescribed by his mum. The result is a nuanced examination of—and insight into—the self-described ‘simple’ Warnie, a man Jana Wendt once said was ‘uncommonly easy to like and a little harder to explain why’. The account of the man is delivered alongside Haigh’s characteristically incisive analysis of his cricket. On Warne is a book for those who love cricket generally and Warnie specifically. It’s especially interesting for those who are confused and frequently infuriated by the man.
Fiona Crawford is a freelance writer, editor, blogger, social media manager and sports fanatic