Australia's star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell says the late Shane Warne had the ability to make one feel at ease in an instant and reveals how the spin wizard reached out to him during a tough phase.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player termed Warne, who died last year due to a cardiac arrest while vacationing in Thailand, as the most caring and loyal person he had ever come across.
"He is probably the most giving and loyal person that I've probably ever met. Generous not just with what he did with his charity work but generous with his knowledge and time," Maxwell said while speaking on the RCB Season 2 Podcast.
"He actively sought out young spinners during their warm-ups to talk them through different skill sets and trying to help them to be the best version of themselves.
"Everyone felt like they had a connection instantly because that's the way he made you feel, he makes you feel like your best friend straightaway," said Maxwell.
Warne grabbed 708 wickets from 145 Tests and remains the second-highest wicket-taker in the traditional format behind Muttiah Muralitharan.
Warne had also picked up 293 wickets from 194 ODIs, making him only the second bowler in history to go past 1,000 international wickets.
Beyond those monumental stats, Maxwell said Warne cared a lot for him and reached out in a time of need.
"I suppose, post cricket hours, I was so lucky to be able to play some golf with him, chat to him off the field, talk to him on the phone. He cared a lot. Once he saw me before one of the Big Bash games, just walking around. We had a small chat and I sort of I wouldn't say I brushed him but I sort of just walked away.
"He messaged me afterwards: 'Are you alright?' And he checked in a couple of times. And then the fourth time I finally opened up. And so I said, this is what's going on. He goes, mate, just take it easy, take a break, do whatever you need to do. I'm always here for you," said Maxwell.
'RCB retention made me calm'
Maxwell joined the RCB ahead of IPL 2021 and made an instant impact, scoring upwards of 500 runs.
But the Australian said he had flutters before the IPL mega auction in 2022 and a call from RCB Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson calmed his nerves. ` "You never know what's gonna happen because it's a big auction. And like, with how many people they were going to retain and we had, obviously, a couple of bowlers Siraj, Harshal, Yuzi (Chahal), then AB (de Villiers), Virat, and those young Indian players, and all could have been retained at some stage.
"So to retain an overseas batter, sometimes isn't the smartest move. It seems straightforward, but in my head, there was obviously a lot more I had to go through and when I got the phone call that I was gonna be retained, I was pumped and couldn't wait to stick around," said Maxwell.
In the IPL 2021, Maxwell made 513 runs from 15 matches with a strike-rate of 144 that included six fifties while averaging 42.75.
In IPL 2022, Maxwell made vital contributions in RCB's play-offs entry, scoring 301 runs from 13 matches with a strike rate 169.