Could Warne come back?
Terry Jenner thinks Shane Warne could do it, Cricket Australia is doubtful it will happen, Ian Healy says it would not be good and Merv Hughes, a national selector, hasn't heard from his mate. Warne's musings that he could play in the Ashes if Australia really needed him have created an immediate debate about whether he could end his retirement.
"Shane defies all normal logic as the game's greatest legspinner," Jenner said in the Herald Sun. "According to Cricket Australia protocol, he would need to play grade and first-class cricket, and he has retired from Hampshire. So he would have to beat the system, but you never say never with Shane."
James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, said Warne was unavailable for selection "until he is not retired", meaning the bowler would have to take the first step. "It's really up to him if he wants to make himself available," Sutherland told Fox Sports News. "The Ashes is still 15 months away and Shane's been retired for 15 months. It's still a long way away and ultimately the decision as to whether he wants to make himself available really rests with Shane."
Some of Warne's former team-mates were sceptical of a possible comeback. Ian Healy was not convinced, saying "it wouldn't be good because it would mean we're struggling", and Michael Slater said it was "all fantasy". Dean Jones told Melbourne radio there was "a lot of wishful thinking here".
Hughes, a selector, smiled when he heard the news. "You just ponder what could be, and my initial thought was that probably he could do it, but then you have a reflection as a selector and you think: is that the best thing for Australian cricket?" Hughes told the Age. "He's going really well with his Twenty20, he's probably excited and the adrenalin is pumping again, but there's a little bit more to it than just rolling up and playing a one-off Test series."
Warne has not spoken to the selectors and Hughes said the bowler would have to justify his selection "as everyone has to". "You can't prove your fitness for Test cricket by playing Twenty20," he said.
Brett Lee led the push for Stuart MacGill, who will return to Test duty on Thursday in the first match against West Indies. "Shane is a very close friend of mine," he said in the Courier Mail, "but we should be focusing on what we've got here, and that is Stuey MacGill."