When Sachin Tendulkar had to order pizza for Shane Warne: 'He didn't want to hurt my feelings'
Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara spoke about their memories with late spin great Shane Warne at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2022.
Shane Warne was among arguably four of the greatest players to have emerged in cricket towards the end of the 20th century, alongwith fellow spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan and batters Sachin Tendulkar and Brian Lara. Warne died in March this year, leading to an avalanche of tributes and stories about the Australian great, widely regarded as among the greatest bowlers of all time.
Among Warne's great match-ups over the course of his career was against Tendulkar and Lara whenever Australia played matches against India and the West Indies respectively. Tendulkar and Warne had developed a strong friendship over the years and memories with the spin great was among the many topics that he and Lara spoke about on Thursday at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2022.
Tendulkar recalled an incident when he had invited Warne for a meal to his place. “I had invited Warnie over, said come to my place and we will have a nice meal. I checked if he is fine with Indian food and he said, 'Yeah, yeah! Don't worry'. I asked him if he is fine with spicy food and he said, avoid too much spicy stuff. I told the chef and he prepared accordingly,” said Tendulkar.
"I invited my manager as well and here we are, sitting on a table, I am serving everyone. Warnie is eating a little bit and then looking around. I asked him, how is the food are you okay with it? Is it too spicy for you? He said oh, no it's delicious. Suddenly my manager looks at Warnie and asks what happened, because he was going on nudging him. Warnie said, take some food from me because it is too spicy and I can't tell Sachin.
“Eventually, we were in the kitchen. I had only heard stories about Warnie's baked beans and stuff. But that was the reality, he was into sausages, baked beans and all those kind of things. We ended up ordering a pizza for him. He didn't want to hurt my feelings and kind of handled that well despite the food. He was never comfortable with Indian food is what I discovered that evening,” he said.
Lara recalled the times when he used to play golf with Warne which itself helped him understand why he was so good. “We played a lot of golf together. I found out why he was so good at what he did. If he was standing over a one-foot put, he would be as competitive as he would be when bowling to Sachin at the Wankhede. He was so focussed, definitely one of the greats. He bowled a lot against sub-continent batsmen in Test matches but breakout Test match was against West Indies at the MCG in 1992 where he picked up 7 wickets. From there, his star just rose to a level that was unbelievable for spinners. He killed the concept that Clive Lloyd that you need to have 4 fast bowlers to win a Test match. His spin was tremendous. Alongwith Murali, during our era I think we played the two best spinners in the world,” he said.