You could be forgiven for thinking Shane Warne was always brash and confident due to the way he tied opposing batters in knots on the cricket field.
However, an insight from those who knew him best has shed light on just how much the man labelled the spin king yearned for positive affirmation.
Former Australian wicketkeeper Ian Healy had the best seat in the house for a lot of Warne’s wizardry, watching on from behind the stumps in the first half of the late spinner’s career.
According to Healy, some of the most vulnerable moments warne displayed in the dressing room came immediately after some of his best performances.
“The difference between Rod Marsh and Warnie was that Warnie was really vulnerable as well,” Healy told Nine’s
Healy admitted Warne sometimes felt the most vulnerable after his best performances on the field (Getty)
“Tubby will know how needy he was. Even when he came off the field and had a good day he’d say, ‘was that okay?’.” He always needed feedback.
“For the incredibly confident man he was in the middle under the fiercest of pressure and displaying the skills of leg spin, which is the hardest in the game, he still needed some reinforcement.
“I don’t think Bacchus (Marsh) needed that, I don’t think Mark (Taylor) needed that, or myself, or Chappelli. But Warnie, the genius, needed people around him to tell him he was going fine.”
Despite his larger-than-life personality and celebrity status, Australian cricket legend Ian Chappell, who shared a commentary box with Warne on Nine, said the fallen great would’ve felt uncomfortable with all the tributes pouring out towards him after his death.
“If you asked him, he would say that’s rubbish, that was one of the lovable things about Warnie,” Chappell said.
Shane Warne of Australia after 3rd day of the 5th Ashes Test between England and Australia at The AMP Oval, London on 25 August 2001 (Hamish Blair/ALLSPORT via Getty)
“We all saw what he did on the cricket field, and he was brilliant. I remember people would say, ‘Shane’s this, he’s that’, and he’d say to me, ‘ah mate, I’m just an average bloke who likes a fag, likes a beer, and likes a pie’, and that was Shane.”
While Chappell loved Warne’s humble nature, he admitted it probably got him in trouble off the field.
“I was always under the impression that got him in trouble at times because he didn’t have a radar,” he said.
“When he went out and he got photographed in some hot spot, he’d say, ‘how did they catch me there?’, and I would say, ‘mate, there’s a few people around who know you’.
“Shane would never have accepted (being called a legend), he just saw himself as an average bloke.”
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Shane Warne’s life in pictures: From Victoria boy to Aussie ‘Spin King’