News24

Warne 'clarifies' comments

2012-12-06 08:38

Sydney - Shane Warne has done it again.

One of the most successful slow bowlers of all time, Warne has consistently shown since his retirement from international cricket in 2007 that he is also the master of a different type of spin.

Two years ago, he had the Australian media in his thrall as he hinted at an international comeback in time to help Australia try and win back the Ashes from England.

This week again he said he could answer the call if his friend the Australia captain Michael Clarke asked him to don his baggy green cap for back-to-back series against England in 2013.

There is no doubting the 43-year-old's love for his country nor that he is constantly questioned about a possible return, but there is little doubt either that he knows how to guarantee back page headlines.

What could have been run-of-the-mill run up to his appearance in Australia's domestic Twenty20 "Big Bash" league, albeit against a team containing his fellow spin bowling great Muttiah Muralitharan, was transformed into a national debate.

The reality of what such a return would mean was laid bare when Cricket Australia said the man who took 708 test wickets - including 195 in 36 Ashes tests - would be expected to embark on a comeback in club and then first class cricket.

At a news conference on Thursday, the spin-bowling great "clarified" his earlier comments without quite shutting the door on a return.

"I'm not asking Michael Clarke. My quotes were all about if you ask me could I do it, I have no doubt that I could," Warne told a news conference on Thursday.

"But it's a big commitment. There's grade cricket, there's state cricket, you have to go through that process and hopefully get selected.

"For me it's nothing that I'm even considering.

"I'm bowling as good as I possibly have for the last five or six years. At this stage if you ask me do I want to make a comeback? No."

Part of Australia's problem has been that Warne, such a potent weapon in test cricket, has never been convincingly replaced.

Current test spinner Nathan Lyon, one of a dozen players to have been tried out in the role over the last six years, took 3-169 in the lost third test against South Africa earlier this week.

England will be going for a third successive Ashes triumph in the next European summer before heading to Australia for a second series around the end of the year.

Reuters

Comments
  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-12-06 09:28

    If you have to keep clarifying controversial comments, then perhaps it is time to either shut up or get a spokesman.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-12-06 10:37

      Why? If he has to keep clarifying comments, then he keeps making the news. Warnie is just making a bit of publicity for himself before Big Bash. Now that he's said he could still cut it at Test level, a lot of people will want to see him bowl in Big Bash, to make their own assessment of his bowling. So they'll tune in to his franchise's matches. More viewers for his team, more exposure for their sponsors. Just good old-fashioned marketing. It was the same with Warnie's bid to sign Usain Bolt for Big Bash. He doesn't believe for a second that Bolt will cut it as a T20 player. But he knows that a lot of athletics/Bolt fans (who might not otherwise have watched Big Bash) will now do it - purely to see Bolt. More bums on seats. More sponsor income. No flies on Warnie. .

      vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-12-06 11:55

      Of course it is a marketing ploy, but it is at the expense of the Aussie national team. The more he utters such comments, the worse Cricket Australia looks. The seed is once again sown in the minds of supporters that without Warne they are nothing. That is sheer arrogance. Of course he was one of the best in the game, but for him to keep intimating it is detrimental to his successors. I do not hear such drivel from Sahcin, Pollock, Richards, Sobers. Hell, even Clive Rice, who is as arrogant as they come, is relatively modest on his own talents. Bad form Shane.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-12-06 12:20

      How does it make CA look bad? It's no secret that they have struggled to find a world class spinner since Warne retired. If they can recall 41 year old Brad Hogg to their limited overs side, why not 43 year old Shane Warne to their Test side? Recalling Hogg didn't make CA look bad. Nor did it sow the seed in the minds of supporters that they are "nothing" without 40-somethings in the side. It merely reminded them of something that CA and every Aussie fan already knows - that they don't have great spin bowling options at the moment.

      vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-12-06 13:54

      The question is, has CA recalled Warne? I have not heard anything about that. If a union approaches an ex-player, a decision is made one way or the other. But if no approach is made and the ex-player starts insinuations in the press, it makes the union look bad - there's a player willing to help his country and they are not using him. Meanwhile, as you rightly suggest, he is just in it for the publicity. I do not believe that CA should recall him anyway - they need to seriously develop their youngsters. Instead of all of their media hype, why does Warnie not work with CA by opening up a spin clinic. I believe that Terry Jenner did something similar.

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-12-06 15:41

      Warnie is way ahead of you, Vernon. From his website: "My role with CA at the moment is working in conjunction with first class captains, coaches and spinners around the states and educating them in understanding the role of the spinner. CA and my aim in this programme is to make spin bowling fashionable again as we believe in the hustle and bustle of modern day cricket the Spinners are falling behind. Through this program, the result we are hoping to achieve is to identify and develop as many bowlers as possible... I am really enjoying assisting the development of the players I am working with. It is great to be able to put something back into the game that has given me so much." Warne also works with Allan Border, Mark Taylor and others in CA's Rules Committee. So he is not some loose cannon renegade who is off freelancing on his own and embarrassing CA for his own publicity. He works very closely with them, they work with him, the two understand each other. So, far from going above CA's heads and announcing himself as the nation's best spinner, he is working with CA to find that next spinner. The media might have misinterpreted Warnie's leg-pulling and taken it seriously. But CA know exactly where he stands. If he'd been even remotely serious about returning, he'd have gone to them behind closed doors and done it via the proper channels. CA, more than anybody, know that he was taking the Michael.

  • anele.cweya - 2012-12-06 10:56

    Faken unbelievable,now that he predicted wrong not one bt two times dat PROTEAS wll lose against england and aus,now he want come back, sir you are 43 years old for heaven sake!!!!

      richard.barnes.3914 - 2012-12-06 11:52

      Where did he say that he wants to come back? And what do his predictions have to do with his ability as a bowler?

  • omar.hartley - 2012-12-06 11:31

    If Shumacher could make a return then why not Warne? I think it will be good for the game. It will certainly bring in the crowds albeit just for the hype. Bring him back- Australia have nothing to lose and he can't do any worse than their current stock of slow bowlers.

  • deon.louw.7505 - 2012-12-06 12:17

    He will never clarify his 2 incorrect calls this year. "England and Australia to beat SA". Dream on!

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