Yearning to be a "normal" father to his kids after retirement, Shane Warne says his longer then expected cricket career cost him his personal life and blames the time spent away from home for the breakdown of his family life.
In his autobiography 'Shane Warne: My Illustrated Career', excerpts of which were published in today's 'Times', Warne says he made some "poor choices" in his life which damaged his personal life.
"Cricket has been very, very good to me, but I have had to make a lot of sacrifices along the way. Spending so much time away from home puts enormous pressure on any relationship and means I have not seen as much of my family as a father with a normal job," Warne writes in the book.
Warne, who had a bitter divorce with wife Simone this year following several disclosures of his extra-marital affairs, said his dedication to the cricket meant that he could never really build his family life.
"To succeed in the game these days takes a lot of dedication. At the end of the day, I think the game has cost me a hell of a lot in my personal life, along with some poor choices by yours truly," he said.
However, the champion leg spinner said he was happy to have etched his name in the game's history as one of the greatest of all time but felt that his biggest achievement so far has been to make spin bowling popular among the youngsters.
"I think I have established my place in the history of cricket, but no matter how many Tests I play and wickets I take, I like to think my biggest contribution has been to make spin bowling exciting and even fashionable, and to attract young kids to play our great game," he said.
Elaborating on his post-retirement plans, Warne said he would devote most of his time to his children and watch them grow after being away from them for long tours with the Australian team.
"I am looking forward to spending a lot of quality time with my kids when I do retire...They are the joys of my life and my inspiration. I love them so much and can't wait to spend all my time with them, and enjoying watching them grow up and turn into young adults, and just being there for them," he revealed.
However, despite blaming the game for his personal problems, Warne said his cricketing skills helped him survive the tough times in his life.
"Yes, I have done a few stupid things along the way, on and off the field. There are some people who think I am a bit of an idiot and, at times, I would have to admit they've been right. But whether they love me or hate me, they are still interested in me and when you cut through everything else I think that is because of the way I play the game," he said.