Warne to skip Victoria's one-day games
Shane Warne has decided not to play in any of Victoria's one-day games this season mainly because of the Ashes schedule.
"As has been well documented, I haven't had international aspirations in the one-day game for some time," Warne said. "While managing my workload ahead of the Ashes is also a consideration, I feel it's appropriate to step aside at state level and allow another Victorian to play and push for higher honours."
Greg Shipperd, the Victoria coach, confirmed that missing the one-day games was Warne's suggestion. "But I should add if exceptional circumstance arose, such as last year when Cameron White and Brad Hodge were on international duty, Shane [Warne] would step in for a one-off as he did last season," Shipperd told the Herald Sun, a Melbourne-based daily.
Shipperd added that if White, the Victoria captain, was called up for national duty then Hodge was likely to take over captaincy of the state team. "He has grown into a leadership role and is now sharing his knowledge with the team," Shipperd said. I'd be very comfortable with Brad leading the side."
Warne and Hodge though will be looking for some practice ahead of the Ashes as Victoria named a 15-member squad for their one-day and four-day matches against Western Australia (WA). With injury sidelining at least four players, Rob Quiney, an uncontracted left-hand batsman, has also been given the chance to play in Victoria's opening matches of the season.
"There's been a massive build-up to this season, so we're all raring to go," said Hodge. "WA have a number of stars in their line-up, so it's going to be great challenge for us. But we've put in the work and are confident of picking up valuable early points and paving the way for a top season."
Victoria's opening fixture is a Ford Ranger One-Day Cup match on October 13 after which they meet Western Australia in the four-day Pura Cup encounter on October 15.
While Warne will not feature in the one-day game on October 13, he will play one this weekend for St Kilda, his local Melbourne club. "This weekend Cricket Australia is promoting Long Live Club Cricket, which is an initiative I'm passionate about, so I'll return to my grass roots and play for St Kilda, which is something I rarely get the chance to do," said Warne.