Not all readers may be familiar with the name Shane Warne, but in the cricketing world it carries as much weight as that of John Madden or Michael Jordan in their respective fields. The Australian sporting legend has just announced an app for the Oculus Rift that will see players go toe-to-toe with the so-called "King of Spin" in a virtual cricket arena.
Over a fifteen year career, Shane Warne terrorized batsmen with his unpredictable leg spin bowling. For those unfamiliar with the game, this particular action sees the bowler impart spin on the ball with a flick of the wrist on release, typically in a right-to-left direction for right armers.
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But Shane Warne wasn't a typical bowler. His deliveries regularly jagged left and right, bouncing high and skidding through low, bamboozling batsmen on his way to 708 test wickets, a record at the time of his retirement in 2007.
To be officially unveiled at the ICC Cricket World Cup in February, King of Spin VR will pit backyard batsmen against Warne and challenge them to deal with his famously awkward deliveries. The game will be exhibited at the National Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground during the event, though its availability following that is a little unclear.
Warne made the announcement at lunchtime on Boxing Day during a match between Australia and India, the biggest day on the Australian cricketing calendar, complete with an Oculus Rift DK2 wrapped around his head.
A photo posted by Shane Warne (@shanewarne23) on
The website says the King of Spin VR will be available to own in mid-2015 for PC, Mac and consoles, though we harbor doubts that these platforms will offer the same experience. Either way you spin it, however, Warne's app is a ringing endorsement for Oculus, and offers a little taste of what might be possible with VR and ball sports such as cricket and baseball.
Source: Shane Warne's King of SpinView gallery - 5 images