Cricket

Warne to make comeback

2011-11-04 07:36
Shane Warne (AP)

Sydney - Spin legend Shane Warne has been enticed out of retirement and will make a comeback with the Melbourne Stars in Australia's Big Bash Twenty20 League, a report said on Friday.

The 42-year-old apparently brought the curtain down on his stellar, two-decade cricket career at the Indian Premier League in May. But Fairfax media said he would be unveiled as the Melbourne Stars' marquee signing.

Both the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age reported that a lucrative package was enough to see him sign up for the fledgling eight-team tournament from December 30 to February 5.

Warne, who is from Melbourne, has been in the city this week with his British actress fiancee Liz Hurley.

The champion leg-spinner has not played top-flight cricket in Australia since helping the country to a 5-0 Ashes whitewash over England in January 2007.

His manager, James Erskine, indicated to the newspapers that Warne would be prepared to take a year off from his commentary duties with Channel Nine if he decided to play in the Big Bash.

But he also acknowledged the risks of making a comeback.

"He went out on the ultimate high in Australia, taking 700 wickets, winning the Ashes," said Erskine.

"He's as fit as he's ever been and he believes he is still one of the top spin bowlers in the world. But he is 42 and realises if he plays there is a certain amount of hype and media attention that comes with that.

"One of the advantages would be that his kids are now old enough to watch him play."

Several overseas players have signed up with the eight franchises that will contest the tournament, including South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs, Paul Collingwood of England, and Pakistani Shahid Afridi.

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