While Shane Warne passed away in 2022, his legacy lives on at Sixes, with English cricket fans able to come into any of the eight venues nationwide to test their skills against the greatest spin bowler of all time.
To celebrate the launch of the ICC Cricket World Cup, the social entertainment venue has launched the ‘World Cup game mode’ in which you can take on 12 of the most famous deliveries in history, and I can personally tell you that it isn’t as easy as it looks.
With a cricket bat in my hand and an overwhelming sense of optimism, I arrived at the venue in Manchester with a genuine belief that I could beat Warne at his own game. Alas, my over-inflated opinion of my abilities was quickly readjusted, but more on that later.
I first stepped up to take on James Anderson’s famous delivery against Inzamam-ul-Haq, and while the Pakistani may have struggled, I took massive confidence in hitting my countryman for six.
However, unsurprisingly, with vengeance on his mind, the English sporting great gained redemption when his effort against Mohammad Yousuf completely caught me by surprise.
Barely connecting with my bat, the ball spiralled behind me, likely to have been caught by the wicket-keeper. But I couldn’t let the situation get the better of me, as next up was the pace of Jofra Archa vs Soumya Sarkar.
Luckily, while the Bangladeshi was found wanting, I remained composed and hit the World Cup winner for three.
My attempt to avenge Andrew Flintoff didn’t go to plan
Born in Preston, in the same city as the legendary Andrew Flintoff, I felt an overwhelming desire to avenge my hero for the devastation caused to him by Andrew Hall.
However, on this occasion, the all-rounder got the better of me. Despite connecting with the ball, it didn’t travel very far, resulting in a lack of runs — I can only apologise, Freddie.
Subsequently, I had the almighty challenge of dealing with Dale Steyn’s delivery against Harbhajan Singh. Luckily, I managed to hit his effort with some serious venom, giving me a huge boost of momentum going into the final ball of the day.
Shane Warne shines at Sixes
Yes, I know Warne spins the ball, and I prepared for that accordingly. However, while it’s one thing visualising it in your mind, it’s an entirely different kettle of fish facing it in person.
Proving why he’s one of the best to ever play the sport, I completely missed the ball, knowing that the Aussie icon must’ve been looking down with a rye smile on his face.
I was less than a year old when the legend dismantled Herschelle Gibbs with that very same technique in 1999. And now, 24 years on, I can feel his pain
Fortunately, I managed to nurse my wounds pretty quickly, tucking into a delicious burger and a mouth-watering strawberry cheesecake milkshake from the restaurant.
Regardless of my now somewhat deflated self-esteem, my day at Sixes was a lot of fun, and you can experience it for yourself at four venues in London, as well as separate locations in Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton and Leicester.
Sixes’ World Cup Mode is a roaring success
Sixes CEO & co-founder, Calum Mackinnon, says: “We’re absolutely delighted to bring this World Cup game mode to Sixes. Fans can often be the biggest critics in sport, but now we’ve given them the chance to face these 12 infamous balls to see how they would get on.
“We’ve launched this to coincide with the Cricket World Cup, as it is the most prestigious event in the cricketing calendar. In sporting terms, the World Cup is the pinnacle which we know will bring in new audiences to the game; we hope to attract both cricket fans and new fans to take on the full Sixes experience.”
The Twelve balls in the World Game Mode are
1. Mitchell Starc vs Ben Stokes (2019)
2. Glenn McGrath vs Brian Lara (1999)
3. Brett Lee vs Jacob Oram (2003)
4. Wasim Akram vs Allan Lamb (1992)
5. Shoaib Akhtar vs Stephen Fleming (1999)
6. Waqar Younis vs Naimur Rahman (1999)
7. James Anderson vs Inzamam-ul-Haq (2003)
8. James Anderson vs Mohammad Yousuf (2003)
9. Jofra Archa vs Soumya Sarkar (2019)
10. Andrew Hall vs Andrew Flintoff (2007)
11. Dale Steyn vs Harbhajan Singh (2011)
12. Shane Warne vs Herschelle Gibbs (1999)
Featured Image Credit: Getty