Melbourne:Shane Warne is four months shy of his 39th birthday. He is playing a game suited to kids, not old men, a game where anything less than the best spin bowling is chopped up like dog meat.
Yet he has turned the Indian Premier League on its head.
Warne's mentor Ian Chappell was quoted as saying in Herald Sun that Warne's IPL success proved that he could have been a great Australian captain.
"Larrikins make good captains because they are risk-takers," Chappell said.
"If he had been appointed captain following Mark Taylor's retirement, I doubt he would have got into so much hot water that it ensured he would never captain Australia again."
Australia did not appoint him Test captain not because it did not think he could captain. It felt he could not be trusted to behave.
Not making Warne Australian captain was the right move, but you can't help admire the feats of an old star who is shining in the furnace of India's new league when he could be sitting contentedly beside the fire in Melbourne.
Warne is the only non-Indian captain in the IPL and the challenges confronting Warne were huge because most of the players are homegrown Indians, many of them raw youngsters with limited communication skills.
Warne has submerged himself in Indian culture in a way he never did when he made three Test tours as a player.
He used to hate Indian food. During a team meeting in a famous Mumbai restaurant, he sent out for a pizza. Now he tolerates it and even organises the team menu. He used to find the Hindi language incomprehensible. Now he is trying to learn it.
Almost embarrassingly, Warne failed to attract a bid over his reserve price at the player auction and was bought by the cheapest franchise, the Rajasthan Royals.
At a time when he could have been excused for taking the cash and letting others get their hands dirty, Warne not only went there as captain but signed on as coach.
Twenty20 captaincy is made for Warne because he is a "C'mon, boys, let's go and get them" sort of coach.