THE chairman of Whitchurch Cricket Club has shared his fond memories of cricket legend Shane Warne's performance in the town after the Australian sporting legend died last week.

Iain Marsh was present to see the spin bowling superstar play for Hampshire County Cricket Club against Shropshire County Cricket Club at Whitchurch's ground in 2005.

And he recalls Warne as a "warm and down to earth" individual, who spent time to engaging with fans and signing autographs.

He added: "He was so graceful with the way he was.

"He was a nice bloke, down to earth and spent hours signing autographs and taking pictures.

"He was humble, for what he was and who he was and just wanted to get on with the game.

"There are many who wouldn't give you the time of day, but Shane Warne was not like that."

Warne's visit was special for Whitchurch, not only because of his superstar status but also because he was still playing international cricket and went on to star in the 2005 Ashes series for Australia – although England famously won that series.

Former Australia cricketer Simon Katich and England batsman Kevin Pietersen also played at the Heath Road venue that day.

He said: "It is the biggest day Whitchurch Cricket Club have ever had.

"You had Warne, Pietersen, Simon Katich – the three of them played in the test series in July.

"Talking about it now because Shane Warne has died, it is unbelievable.

"It was great to have him. We had 4,000 people there that day."


Warne took over over 1,000 wickets playing for Australia, with 708 of them coming in test cricket. He is recognised as one of the game's all-time greats and will be remembered for being popular with cricket fans in many countries.

Mr Marsh added: "He is one of the most recognised cricketers in the world and will be remembered as one of the very best, if not the best.

"There are only two players who've taken over 700 test wickets and that is Muttiah Muralitherin and Shane Warne.

"He played cricket at the highest level but wanted a good time with it.

"I think the British public loved him for the way he was."

Warne made his test debut against India in 1992 and his one-day debut against New Zealand in 1993.

He played in eight Ashes series and lost only one, won the Cricket World Cup in 1999, and retired in 2013. He died in Thailand on Friday (March 4), with police citing natural causes.