Cricket great Shane Warne bowled over by musical

Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:09am EST
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By James Grubel

CANBERRA (Reuters Life!) - Australia's former cricket star Shane Warne, who likens his turbulent personal life to a soap opera, has been won over by a new musical play based on his antics on and off the field.

Warne is the subject of "Shane Warne: The Musical," which opened in his home-town of Melbourne and takes a light-hearted look at his life, including notorious text messages to and from female admirers, his infidelities on tour, and the well-publicized break up of his marriage to wife Simone.

In a review of the show published in Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper, Shane Warne the man said he was more than a little bit apprehensive about seeing his life put to song.

"I am suddenly nervous. More edgy than facing Pakistani quickie Shoaib Akhtar on a green deck," Warne wrote.

Spin bowler Warne remains one of Australia's greatest cricketers, who occasionally made fools of the world's best batsmen during a 16-year international career. He took 708 test wickets before he retired in 2007.

Critics have praised the show, which features a scene with Warne struggling to keep up with a stream of text messages while he shops with his wife, and its creator and star Eddie Perfect.

"Shane Warne: The Musical, currently showing in Melbourne, is a wild, funny, outrageous, and by the end, surprisingly moving account of the champion spin bowler's life so far," wrote the Herald Sun's Colin Vickery.

Warne, who says he is the subject of 13 unauthorized biographies, was initially nervous about how the show would portray his mother and his ex-wife, but he was eventually coaxed into seeing the musical and judging for himself.   Continued...

<p>Shane Warne is seen in Hong Kong October 28, 2007. REUTERS/Bobby Yip</p>