Speculation without foundation May 2, 2006

Warne rules out ODI comeback

Cricinfo staff

Warne in colours: Not coming to a stadium near you © Getty Images
Shane Warne has dismissed rumours of an impending ODI comeback for Australia. Warne, back in England for the start of a county season with Hampshire, was reported by AFP saying he had no intention of coming out of his self-imposed one-day international retirement.

Warne was mystified by comments made by John Buchanan, Australia's coach, hinting he might be ready to change his mind in time for the World Cup next year in the West Indies. "I must have said it 14,000 times. I have retired and I have no aspirations to return," Warne reiterated after skippering Hampshire to victory in their C&G Ttrophy match against Essex at the Rose Bowl.

This contradicts statements made by Buchanan, published by Australian papers, which said there had been discussions with Warne about the possibility of a return. "Ricky [Ponting], myself and Andrew Hilditch [chairman of selectors] have all had discussions with Shane about the World Cup," Buchanan told The Sun-Herald. "There needs to be commitment or otherwise from him. Either he makes himself available in terms of the team moving forward with its plans, or not. And then the selectors will have some decisions on their plate from there. Shane spoke to us in South Africa, and then again in Bangladesh."

But Warne insisted, "I have to be fair to the squad. There is a lot of cricket ahead in the next year with the ICC Trophy, the VB Series and the World Cup and they have to prepare. I have been out of the limited-overs team for three years and I have absolutely no desire to come back.

"I have taken 200 wickets in the last two years in Test matches and that is no coincidence. I have been playing better than ever. John Buchanan must have misunderstood what I was saying and I know people have been saying that I have been talking to Ricky Ponting but in Bangladesh there was not much else to do but talk."

Warne, who missed Australia's victorious World Cup campaign in 2003 after failing a drugs test which saw him banned from professional cricket for a year, added, "If Ricky said to me at some stage 'look we really need you', then I would think about it, but I don't think it would ever come to that. The team has done really well without me and I will be barracking for them in the World Cup, but not playing for them."

Warne, who has 293 wickets from 194 one-day internationals, subsequently went into voluntary retirement from ODIs. His only appearance since came in last year's tsunami charity match between Asia and the Rest of the World in front of his home crowd at the MCG, a fixture controversially awarded full limited-overs international status.