'Bittersweet' twist in Shane Warne role after legend's tragic death

Pictured here, Shane Warne poses for photos after being confirmed as the inaugural coach of London Spirit in the Hundred.
The late great Shane Warne's role as coach of London Spirit has been given to fellow Aussie Trevor Bayliss on an interim basis. Pic: Getty

Veteran cricket coach Trevor Bayliss admits he's been left with "bittersweet" feelings after bing confirmed as Shane Warne's replacement at the London Spirit.

Warne, who died on March 4 of a suspected heart attack in Thailand, was head coach of Spirit's men's side for the inaugural year of the Hundred competition in 2021.

The Aussie Spin King was farewelled at a memorial service attended by some 55,000 people at the MCG last week.

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Warne's father Keith, his three children and brother Jason were among the family members to pay tribute to the cricket great, while music giants Elton John and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin also performed songs in the cricket great's memory.

The tragic death of Australia's greatest ever bowler continues to be felt around the world and fellow Aussie Bayliss says his appointment as interim head coach of London Spirit has left him with mixed feelings.

"It is obviously very bittersweet to take the role, given the circumstances," the 59-year-old said.

"It is an honour to try and build on the work Warnie started. The side knew what he and Eoin were trying to build and I hope we can do that this year."

Before his tragic death, Warne had made no secret of his desire to further his coaching career by putting his hand up for the England role vacated by Chris Silverwood.

While many people questioned at the time whether Warnie was serious, fellow commentator Isa Guha revealed after his death that he was quite serious about the idea.

“The last time I saw Shane Warne in person, he came to me with a question,” Guha wrote.

“Hey Ish … I’m keen to put my hand up for this England job, what do you reckon?”

“He was serious. People might have dismissed his quotes about wanting to coach England a fortnight ago as , but he meant what he said and he wanted to know what I thought.

“I told him I thought he’d be amazing.

Former Fox Sports colleague Isa Guha says Shane Warne was very serious about wanting to coach England. Pic: Getty
Former Fox Sports colleague Isa Guha says Shane Warne was very serious about wanting to coach England. Pic: Getty

“Tactically he was so good and I thought England would really benefit from someone like him who could give the players belief and enhance them as cricketers.”

“Warnie was close to a few of the England players having worked with them at the Rajasthan Royals and he got on with them well, as you could tell by the outpouring of emotion from Joe Root and Ben Stokes and the England players reacting to the news in the West Indies.

“I absolutely think he had it in him to do that. Warnie loved a challenge and always wanted to push himself, and who knows what would have happened?”

Trevor Bayliss replaces Shane Warne at London Spirit

Curiously, Bayliss takes over Warne's role at the London Spirit having stepped down as England coach in 2019.

Bayliss coached Sydney Sixers to the inaugural Big Bash title in 2011-12, as well as winning the IPL twice with Kolkata Knight Riders.

After stepping down from England, he has coached Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash. He also previously coached the Sri Lanka men's national side between 2007 and 2011.

He takes over a Spirit side that finished bottom last year, meaning they have first pick in this year's draft. The draft was taking place behind closed doors on Monday before the selections are revealed on Tuesday.

Bayliss was awarded an OBE in the 2020 New Year Honours for his services to cricket after England defeated New Zealand in the unforgettable 2019 World Cup final at Lord's.

Seen here, veteran coach Trevor Bayliss when he used to be in charge of the England men's team.
Veteran coach Trevor Bayliss says replacing Shane Warne at the London Spirit in the Hundred competition is a 'bittrsweet' feeling. Pic: Getty

Spirit team manager Fraser Stewart said: "This is a situation none of us ever wanted to be in and all of our thoughts remain with Shane's family and what is such a heart-breaking time.

"We were so lucky to work with Shane last year and we hope that the team will play in a style that he would have been proud of this summer.

"Trevor and Eoin (Morgan) are completely committed to that and we hope they can give our fans a reason to smile."

Spirit's squad already includes Morgan, Australian allrounder Glenn Maxwell and England internationals Zak Crawley, Dan Lawrence and Mark Wood.

with AAP

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