Sydney, May 27: How much of a influence the late Terry Jenner was on Shane Warne is a fact that every cricket-lover around the World knows. Jenner's role in transforming a hugely talented but wayward Shane Warne in to arguably the greatest spinner to have played the game is beyond a shade doubt one of the better demonstration of a coach and student relationship. And Warne, who is known for his indifferent attitude towards coaches (ask John Buchanan), has now paid a glowing tribute to Jenner, fondly referred to as the Spin Doctor.
Warne, in his website, recalled his last conversation with Jenner and wrote, "When I spoke to TJ on the phone a few weeks ago - we said goodbye to each other - it was a very difficult thing to do and chat as it was so unlike all our others - this was it for the last time after 20 odd years."
He added, "We both didn't say too much as we both didn't need too [sic] - we just knew. I did thank him though for everything he had done for me and tried to express how much his patience, advice, love and above all his friendship has meant to me and my family. We both shed a bit of a tear and said goodbye."
Warne, who was introduced to Jenner in 1990 at the latter's academy was a great fan of Jenner's attitude and approach to life. He also had a deep sense of reverence for Jenner' knowledge of leg-spin, cricket strategies and most-importantly his no-nonsense attitude - a thing that many say has also become a part of Warne the cricketer.
The legendary spinner, further wrote, "TJ became my Dr Phil on all matters and levels - wherever I was around the world we would call and chat - we would plan to bring down the opposition batsmen, laugh and I would hang up feeling good. His knowledge of the game, not just spin bowling was amazing."
He went on to add, "TJ, like his fellow players of that era are very straight and also very blunt - the best way to be in all aspects of life - no bull shit or fluffy rubbish. But, you did need a thick skin - mine was luckily - or shall we say had to develop very quickly, which looking back now and reflecting - has held me in good stead for all my life situations not just cricket."
Referring to the camaderie the duo shared, he wrote, "Underneath the ample frame and all that bravado was a very charming, caring, loving family man who was a giver to cricket and life. I think we met at exactly the right time in each other's lives, we where [sic] good for each other - maybe all the stars and moons where [sic] aligned, because we clicked instantly."
Warne also made a point to mention an incident he had with Jenner that, went on to play a huge part in his career. That was after he was hammered by the Indian batsmen in his debut Test but was still selected for Australia's tour of Sri Lanka. An elated Warne, ran straight to Jenner to share his happiness and learn more.
He wrote, "Well the next 4-5 hours where [sic] life changing - I went to get 2 beers and he said what are you doing? I said as usual a few beers together! He said listen - you are so lucky to be selected to tour again and represent Australia, why don't you get serious, I said like how? I'm working hard!
"Rubbish he bellowed out, your [sic] fat, drink way to much beer and smoke like a chimney and have never had to sacrifice anything - bit rich I thought coming from TJ as he sucked back a beer and took a massive puff on his cigar!!! Ok then - what do I need to do you think? To start with give up drinking excessively every night, get fit, drop weight and at least look like a sportsman. Wow I thought, cop that! I said ok I will, you wait and see.
"The rest of the chat was an old fashioned honest heart to heart about life. I woke up feeling energised and started training hard. Every day I ran, did push ups, sit ups, ate properly and bowled for hours. Fast forward 3 to 4 months and I weighed 79kg, I had managed to lose 20kg and was ready for Sri Lanka I thought!"
Jenner, who died on May 25, after prolonged illness was 66 years old and his funeral will be held at the Adelaide Oval on May 31.