'Let my family down': Shane Warne opens up on 'horrible' mistakes

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Pictured here, Shane Warne and his three children.
Shane Warne laments how his career negatively affected his family. Pic: Getty/Instagram

Shane Warne is one of Australia's most revered cricketing legends, but like many sporting greats he's also battled his fair share of challenges and negative headlines.

The greatest wicket-taker in Australian Test cricket history had a chequered relationship with the media to say the least.

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Praised for his unrivalled brilliance one day and chastised for his off-field actions the next, Warne says his love-hate relationship with the media caused him consternation on numerous occasions.

In a glittering career punctuated by text scandals, a spot-fixing allegation and even a drug ban, the 50-year-old admits his failure to understand how the media operates, perhaps played a role in his off-field indiscretions.

Speaking as part of a six-part series for Fox Sports, Warne laments the effect his mistakes had on his family.

“I’m not proud of all of my decisions,” Warne tells host Mark Howard on the program.

“I made some horrible mistakes and choices with things.

“But I was always true to myself and that’s what I’m proud of today.”

“Some of the things were really hard to take.

“I let my family down, I embarrassed my children ... but that’s something I have to live with.

“But for all of those bad choices I’ve also been very proud of all the good things I’ve done. I’ve done a lot of good things but sometimes people like to harp on about the bad things because it’s a better headline.”

Warne pinpoints his famous 'Ball of the Century' to England batsman Mike Gatting in the 1993 Ashes series as the moment his life changed irrevocably - for better and worse.

‘Ball of the Century’ changed Warne’s life

The Spin King suddenly went from up-and-coming Aussie Test cricketer to international superstar, and he recalls how a pub visit with former teammate Merv Hughes during that Ashes series, brutally rammed the fact home.

“I was 23 when that happened. I remember going to the Windmill Pub in London, we were staying at the Westbury Hotel 100 yards up the road ... and I went for a pint with Merv (Hughes),” he says.

“And when I came out there was, without a word of a lie, probably 25-30 photographers just taking pictures.

“As I was walking 100 yards back to the hotel they were in the middle of the road. I’m going, ‘Merv, what the hell is going on here?’

“The next day was about ‘Shane Warne was at the pub’. I was getting critiqued about what I was wearing, I had ‘10 things you don’t know about Shane Warne’ and I’m reading it going, ‘that’s not true, I didn’t know that about me!’”

Pictured here, Shane Warne celebrates with teammates during The Ashes.
Warne's stardom set up a love-hate relationship with the media. Pic: Getty

Warne said his inability to block out the white noise from the media, affected the way he lived his life.

“I didn’t really understand how it worked when I had to read these things about myself that weren’t true which was quite tough to take,” he says.

“You don’t want to spend your life worrying about that stuff, but I did. I worried. I was like, ‘that’s not what I’m like’. So I found that I didn’t understand how it (the media) worked and I resented it.

“And I think some of my actions in the mid 90s and towards the end of the late 90s — I acted in a sort of arrogant, pretty ordinary fashion all the time.

“I live in the moment so sometimes you don’t think about the consequences and that was probably most of my trouble. I didn’t think what the consequences were or what effect it would have on other people.

“It was a selfish thing. I did what I wanted to do, and that got me into a bit of trouble.”