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How Shane Warne rose again after being banned from cricket in 2003

The legendary leg-spinner was closing in on 500 Test wickets when, on February 22, 2003, he was suspended from the game for 12 months after testing positive for banned diuretics.

Warne accused the Australian Cricket Board's drugs tribunal of bowing to "anti-doping hysteria" after they handed him a 12-month suspension for using a prohibited substance as a masking agent.

The verdict came as a body blow for the 33-year-old, who had insisted from the outset that the fluid tablet he took from his mother was purely to make him look good in front of the television cameras.

The tribunal decided that defence did not constitute "exceptional circumstances" - which would have justified dismissing the charge under ACB policy - and therefore found him guilty.

"I feel I am a victim of the anti-doping hysteria. I also want to repeat that I have never taken any performance-enhancing drugs and never will," said Warne.

"I feel a 12-month suspension is a very harsh penalty for not checking what I took with anyone. Playing for Australia and Victoria is my love. I would never knowingly put that in jeopardy. I love playing cricket too much."

Warne was forced to miss the 2003 World Cup, which Australia won, and soon after announced his retirement from international ODIs.

So what happened to Warne on his return to cricket a year later, Planet Sport takes a trip down memory lane.

Warne becomes all-time Test wicket-taker

Shane Warne returned from his ban in February 2004 and in March, he was back in Australia's squad against Sri Lanka in Galle.

During the three-Test series, Warne took his 500th wicket, becoming the second bowler to achieve the milestone after West Indies pace bowler Courtney Walsh.

Warne took five wickets in each innings of the first and second Tests and added another six wickets to his tally in the third. Warne's performances saw him named Player of the Series.
In October 2004, Warne became the all-time Test wicket-taker, overtaking Muttiah Muralitharan with 553 wickets after dismissing Irfan Pathan in Chennai.

Losing the Ashes in 2005

Australia would surrender the urn with Michael Vaughan's England winning the five Test series 2-1; Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen and Steve Harmison the standout performers for home side.

It was a tight contest which went down to the wire, but despite the defeat Warne collected even more personal achievements.

He made history at Old Trafford in August by becoming the first bowler to get 600 wickets, and had passed 623 wickets by the end of the series. He also became the all-time leading wicket-taker in the Ashes series, with 172.

Warne took 40 wickets at an average of 19.92 and scored 249 runs during the 2005 series. He won Player of the Series alongside Flintoff.

Test retirement in 2007

The leg-spinner's final series as a Test player for Australia was the 2006/07 Ashes.

Warne had a poor opening Test in Brisbane but came alive in the second innings of the second Test in Adelaide when he bowled Pietersen.

Australia regained the Ashes in the third Test, with Warne taking the final wicket to ensure they took a 3-0 lead. After the result, Warne announced that he would retire after the fifth Test.

Australia went on to whitewash England (again) and Warne ended his Test career with 708 wickets at an average of just over 25.

Warne's inspiring T20 career

After quitting international cricket, Warne signed for Rajasthan Royals as their captain for the Indian Premier League in 2008 for a fee of $450,000 in the pre-season auction.
Warne inspired the Royals to victory in the inaugural season of the competition and would remain as captain of the side for another four years until 2011.
In 2011, Warne joined the Melbourne Stars in Australia's Big Bash League (BBL) in November 2011. Warne took seven wickets in the tournament as the Stars reached the semi-finals.
Warne got banned for one BBL match in 2013 after using obscene language and 'inappropriate physical contact with a player or official' and 'showing serious dissent at an umpire's decision" during a match against Melbourne Renegades. In 2013, he retired from all formats.

Into the media spotlight

Warne was a natural in front of the camera and quickly moved from the middle to the commentary box. He'd already had a spell as a commentator during his suspension in 2003, so it was an easy leap back into the media after he retired.

His high profile relationship with model and actress Elizabeth Hurley, a successful poker career and promotional work for a hair-loss-recovery company saw him become a well-known celebrity figure outside the world of cricket too. 

However, cricket remained his true passion. He worked for Nine Network and Sky Sports during the 2010s, and continued to be a regular cricket pundit and commentator across various networks until his death in March 2022 from a suspected heart attack.

READ MORE: Legendary Australian wicketkeeper and former England selector Rod Marsh dies aged 74

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