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Watch: ‘Rarely on a cricket field has physical violence seemed so close’ – the Shane Warne-Andrew Hudson 1994 showdown

Shane Warne bowls and sledges Andrew Hudson
by Abhishek Mukherjee 3 minute read

Watch: At Johannesburg in 1993/94, Shane Warne bowled Andrew Hudson round his legs, following which the pair nearly got involved in a brawl.

It was Australia’s first Test match tour of South Africa since they were routed 0-4 in 1969/70. The Australians were greeted by eight thousand people at the airport, and the tour was expected to be played in great spirit.

Earlier that summer, South Africa had drawn a Test series 1-1 on Australian soil. Now, Australia were set out for revenge.


With an innings of 69, Jonty Rhodes helped South Africa recover from 126-6 to reach 251 after Kepler Wessels opted to bat, Merv Hughes claiming 3-59 and Craig McDermott 3-63. Australia responded with 248, Steve Waugh top-scoring with an unbeaten 45 as Allan Donald claimed 3-86.

South Africa went to stumps on the second day on 42-0, and made the Australians toil in the field the day after. Though Tim May got Gary Kirsten for 35, Hudson (60) and Hansie Cronje (122) took South Africa to 123-1.

In the first innings, Border had not introduced Warne until the 49th over. In the second, he got him on in the 44th, after McDermott, Hughes, and May, and even the Waugh brothers. When Border brought him on, it was with the words “we need you, Warnie, come on, get us a wicket.”

The delay is “thought to have put him in the temper,” according to the Wisden Almanack. In Shane Warne: My Own Story, the champion admitted: “I was in a state and wanted to show all the 40,000 people at the ground that I was going to fix them right up.”

Things might have gone out of hand had Ian Healy not intervened. “Rarely on a cricket field has physical violence seemed so close,” summed up the Almanack.

It took Warne three balls to bowl Hudson round his legs. He now charged at Hudson with a mouthful of expletives as Ian Healy tried to intervene. “Andrew had done nothing to deserve that sort of abuse,” Warne later admitted. He later apologised to Hudson.

With Wessels and Peter Kirsten also making fifties, South Africa declared on 450-9 before bowling out Australia for 256. Warne was slapped with a £220 fine by ICC match referee Donald Carr, and docked his match fee of £2,000 by the Australian Cricket Board.

Watch Shane Warne dismiss and sledge Andrew Hudson here:

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