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Warne strains for spotlight … again

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 4, 2012

Comments: 53 | Text size: A | A

Shane Warne in the MCG nets, Melbourne, October 23, 2012
Shane Warne: "When you've got international bowlers bowling one or two full-tosses an over and half-volleys, I felt for Pup, I really felt for him." © Getty Images
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Shane Warne's sympathy for his close friend Michael Clarke - and fervent desire to remain in the spotlight - has extended far enough for the former Australian legspinner to present an outlandish scenario by which he would return to the Test team for next year's dual Ashes series.

Watching Clarke look powerless for just about the first time as Australian captain as Hashim Amla and Graeme Smith battered a wayward bowling attack to all parts of the WACA ground during the third Test, Warne said he felt a strong urge to help out. This time, Warne said, the desire to aid Clarke went beyond the regular advice he shares with his former team-mate around Test matches.

"I felt like I wanted to jump off the couch and grab the ball," Warne told News Ltd. "I really felt for Michael Clarke from a captaincy point of view. When you've got international bowlers bowling one or two full-tosses an over and half-volleys, I felt for Pup, I really felt for him."

While the scenario is highly improbable, if not laughable, Warne said a suitable persuasive phone call from Clarke would be enough for him to forego the "Shane Warne inc." of his life since retirement in order to play for Australia again. Warne even suggested he would be happy to return through grade cricket and earn his way with wickets for club and state before a Test recall could be considered.

"If your best friend says, 'Mate, I want you to seriously consider making a commitment to Australian cricket and coming back out of retirement', (to) make myself available for selection, that's a different scenario,'' Warne said. "Especially with back-to-back Ashes coming up next year, it could be a 12-month thing where you take three spinners with you and say, 'Righto, work with these spinners and see how you go for 12 months.' That's a different kettle of fish.

"I'm definitely not asking for Michael Clarke to come out and say that - that's a different scenario. You asked me if I think I could still play international cricket if I wanted to just turn up, do my bowling and if the first Test match was in three weeks, do you think I could play, (then) I'd have no hesitation in saying yes - and I think I'd do pretty well."

Presenting a fitter figure at the age of 43 than he did during most of his playing days, Warne argued the major obstacle to his return was not his bowling capability but the demands he now has on his time. He is set to captain the Melbourne Stars in this summer's BBL, and has bowled presentably for the team in their warm-up matches this week.

"From a purely bowling perspective, I don't think my form would be the concern, it's just the time and actually making that commitment again," Warne said. "My kids are turning 16, 14 and 12 next year and we're juggling two continents, Elizabeth [Hurley's] work and my work commitments. There's travel, sponsors, businesses, there are charities, so much stuff that I'd basically have to put it all on hold to make a commitment to international cricket.

"That's the reason I haven't for a while said I'm gonna make a comeback. For me it's not a matter of whether I could do it or not - I have absolutely no doubt if I wanted to commit to try to make a comeback and go through grade cricket, first-class cricket and try to get selected ... that I could do it."

While supportive of Clarke, Warne's words cannot be of much succour for Nathan Lyon, Australia's undisputed No. 1 spin bowler, who was the team's leading wicket-taker against South Africa while becoming the youngest Australian offspinner to reach 50 Test wickets.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Playfair on (December 5, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

I would grab at the opportunity to select Warne but knowing CA policy I doubt very much if they would .. but who knows, if he is fit and able, it would make an interesting ashes ..

Posted by seawolf on (December 5, 2012, 13:13 GMT)

i see lot mixed emotions about his coming back, i say CA has to consider it for next 12 months min rather than running town boy spinners in to support the team, age is not matter as he can play grade cricket and earn his spot, if any body better than him then let that guy play, if not warnee to play. because it is for global cricket including ASIA, see him let good spinners come in, except styne and for some extend anderson, tell me one bowler who earns respect, some few young guys comming up and grooming but no body there to inspire young boys all over world....... we see in life abdul quader, saqline, kumble, murali, and shane for spin, for fast, we see akram, ambrose, donald, waqar, mc grath, lee etc etc.. so let the world see him agian for some body

Posted by spinkingKK on (December 5, 2012, 11:27 GMT)

I can see a lot of confidence in those words. However, I don't think it is ever going to happen. Australian selectors are never going to be that desperate to select a 43-year old retired bowler so that they can have a formidable bowling line-up. We have a factory of fast bowlers and some decent spin bowlers. That will be enough to trouble any kind of batting line-up. Australia only lost the series to South Africa because of the superior batting strenghth that the porteas had. Also, DRS also made sure that the shocking decisions can not affect the results of the matches and the series. Australian batsmen approached the final innings of the perth test without any confidence. You may be 600 odd runs behind. However, if South Africans can score 590 in their second innings, why not Australians score more? Records are meant to be broken some day and they should have approached it with confidence.

Posted by RobTay14 on (December 5, 2012, 10:39 GMT)

Hah, as ridiculous as this is, I would love to see him return to test cricket. Lyon isn't necessarily the weak component of the Aussie team, but I'm sure Warne would bowl better then him.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (December 5, 2012, 9:07 GMT)

Shane Warne I feel you have overstepped the line, you have been out of the game for 4 years and make a one-time offer to play the Ashes. How will Australias current spinners take your comments. You know the Australian public loves you, because you were a great cricketer but now the focus when Nathon Lyon plays his next test is again going on to you. It is the next generations time and one that you slip out of the spot light to help ease the pressure. You have retired now let it go.

Posted by seawolf on (December 5, 2012, 9:04 GMT)

he was really short of two years of his career due to ban and injuries as well. one more chance can make up for that, and even not as a great spinner like earlier but just as new comer or common grade spinner, warnee is much better than any one at the moment, so please make it happen to see you again in whites.

Posted by peeeeet on (December 5, 2012, 8:13 GMT)

He'd need to put on weight first. A skinny and fit Warne in whites just wouldn't look the same!

Posted by chrynnon on (December 5, 2012, 6:38 GMT)

Unless he's planning to take up fast bowling there's no point.

If Warne really wanted to help, he'd already be teaching the next generation instead of threatening to take away their jobs. I suspect his real problem is he hasn't been in the headlines for more than a month now and needed to remedy that terrible situation at once.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 3:10 GMT)

Shane warne sir, please return to test cricket! Nothing is impossible!

Posted by JavagalSrinath on (December 5, 2012, 2:59 GMT)

Hi shane, please allow Muralidharan to retire in peace.

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 2:57 GMT)

if Warne returns to test cricket, it will be interesting to see whether Murali will also follow!

Posted by   on (December 5, 2012, 2:54 GMT)

It is great news for all. Cricket world need Shane Warne again. Australia need quality spinner. No one could replace Warnie. Welcome back Shane Warne...

Posted by seawolf on (December 5, 2012, 2:31 GMT)

surely it would be better for Australia to have him back in the attack, he will do better than any other spinner in Australia if not be the same like his best days even, also good for young spinners all around the world and Australia to grab some inspiration from him. i wish CA consider him for selection. until the pace attack and batting order is in shape and consistent with form and free from injuries, a 12 month contract would help Australian team a breathing time. nothing to loose for sure as all other young spinners are not as good as warne's current form even. and being an indian as well as fan of warne, warne get one more chance to go to India and bowl against sachin may be the last great scenes of their era as only kallis left out.

Posted by SarathW on (December 5, 2012, 1:48 GMT)

Is this the joke of the century? Warne was a good bowler, as Arujuna Ranatunga said he has 50% skill and 50% media hype. He took most of his wickets because he had the likes of McGrath on one end who kept things tight and the opposing batsmen had to have a go at Warne and gave away their wickets. It is no secret that the umpires favorable decisions in favor of the Australians. Without the likes of McGrath in the side and DRS system in place Warne would have been just another great bowler.

posted by Sarath W

Posted by sohaibahmad on (December 5, 2012, 1:34 GMT)

would be better for Warne to keep working on his Hindi than the comeback to test cricket :)

Posted by skkh on (December 5, 2012, 1:30 GMT)

Sad that Warne still wants to be in the limelight. He was a great bowler for sure but today he is not even a shade of himself. His physical fitness wouldn't allow him to play a full day of cricket leave alone a five day test. Lyon is doing great and we ought to continue with him. Warne thank you but no thanks mate.

Posted by johntycodes on (December 5, 2012, 0:28 GMT)

Anyone would be better than lyon who is a slow bowler who doesn't spin it.

Posted by jonberg17 on (December 5, 2012, 0:17 GMT)

How good would it be to see Warnie come into the team and not only help Lyon but also his lookalikie Warner. Warner has proven that he can learn - going from the short form of the game to the long. Now it is time to learn how to land his leggies.

Posted by Milindbk on (December 4, 2012, 23:02 GMT)

I hope Sachin Tendulkar does not read this article!

Posted by azzaman333 on (December 4, 2012, 22:35 GMT)

As much as I love Warne's cricketing abilities, Lyon has done everything we could've asked of him as our frontline spinner. Calling Warne out of retirement would be a massive step backwards.

Posted by Mervo on (December 4, 2012, 21:45 GMT)

Clarrie Grimmet one of our best ever leg spinners was this age when he played some superb Test Cricket.

Posted by nzcricket174 on (December 4, 2012, 21:29 GMT)

Come on Warney, do an Alfie Langer!

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 21:11 GMT)

Well, its a new century so we do need another "ball of the century." Go Warney!

Posted by bluefunk on (December 4, 2012, 20:54 GMT)

wouldn't blame the poms if they are reading this with a certain trepidation lol

Posted by Avinash_kumar_India on (December 4, 2012, 20:49 GMT)

Com'n Warne, accept that you are past of Great Australian team. They have done well with you and are doing resanabaly good and will do better without you. Making come back and taking ACB for granted is not as easy as eating bread.

You are highly respected player at least in cricketing world, please please please do not make fun of yourself.

Current spinner/s in current team will do better.

Do not forgot, Great Saching is still there and he does not need to make come back. Can we ask Kumble to come back as India did not do well in Mumbai, that's to be against in India.

Posted by cheesemethod on (December 4, 2012, 20:31 GMT)

Attention seeking? Love or hate him, he deserves respect when it cones to cricket, lets not forget how many wickets he took. Sure nathan lyon has bowled well but hes not the attacking style spinner that australia needs. Id like to see shane work with david warner and help mould him into a full time attacking leggy to go with his brutal batting. As for shane, sure play a few shield games and see how you go

Posted by MaruthuDelft on (December 4, 2012, 20:29 GMT)

If Warne can prove he can do it at 43 then it extends careers of other young cricketers too as opposed to saying younger ones opportunities are taken away.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 20:02 GMT)

As an Englishman, I'd love to see this happen as Warnie's competitive nature alway brought so much added spice to Ashes contests and made for great cricket to watch. Clearly I'm not one of those Englishmen who is hoping for his return to be a disaster for Australia as I for one essentially enjoy good quality cricket. If England win, so much the better.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (December 4, 2012, 19:50 GMT)

Arguably the greatest spinner of all time but lets be fair warney is now 43! and Hes not played anything other than T20 for the last 5 years. I think it would be a huge ask for him to come back and play at test level after such a long time out. It would bean incredibly sad indictment on Australia's current spin bowling options if he did comeback. Would a stint as spin bowling coach not be better for all concerned ?

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

Warnie looks as fit as ever and Aussies tour India next year, with England going with two spinners against India now, Australia dont have even one quality spinner!

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (December 4, 2012, 18:07 GMT)

This goes to show how MEDIOCRE the Australian team is. They got a bunch of average fellows who wouldn't make a cut in MY team. Sure, even if Warne comes back, for how much longer will he play ? Does that make Australia's domestic reserves look bad or good ? What if Kumble comes back to play for India, the whole world will be breathing down on India's back taunting us outright about our lack of reserve spinners. I think Warne should provide some sort of mentor role to the younger players from a coaching perspective. I am damn surprised why CA isn't even trying to hire him ?! In the mean time, he continues to play the BEST format of cricket - T20 and is making a fair share of bucks.

Posted by Syed_imran_abbas on (December 4, 2012, 17:49 GMT)

I can understand your emotions mate but... you have left good at peak times of australian crciket unlike ponting.. you dont want people begging you to leave like in sachins case... but yeah coaching might be a good idea.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 16:30 GMT)

oh yea. would love to see Warnie blaze through the Poms. If he is successful This would be one of the best come backs. A definite film has to be dedicated to this Spin Maestro.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 16:23 GMT)

I mean hey,Hogan also came back to the WWE.

Posted by anton1234 on (December 4, 2012, 16:21 GMT)

The only reason Warne is saying that is because its easy money. Play in the month long tournament and get a couple of hundred thousand Aussie Dollars.

In my opinion, guys who have retired from all forms of the game should not have a place in the T20s. Warne and Murali should not be playing in the Big Bash League.

Posted by lazysnoopy787 on (December 4, 2012, 16:19 GMT)

He's certainly good enough to be our backup spinner, spinner coach and captain's mentor. If he's good and fit enough to bowl 50 overs then why not? Perhaps we can get Macgill as our third spinner as well... (sic)

Posted by CutHis_ArminHalf on (December 4, 2012, 16:14 GMT)

Yeah this is exactly what all the other spinners need.

Every one of them is already compared to warne. This doesn't help.

As an australian I can safely say - No thanks mate. Why don't you coach a few leggies for us instead.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 15:50 GMT)

This was on cards... I was expecting this once Ponting is out. Nothing against Ponting, Gilchrist or Steve Waugh but I believe somehow they were not best playing mates for Warney.

IMO, it is too late and Lyon is best spinner for Aussies as of now. Warney can contribute as bowling coach if Clarke wants him. But nothing seems impossible in cricket :-)

Posted by Shahzadd on (December 4, 2012, 15:48 GMT)

Will be interesting to see how this story unfolds....I'd be thrilled to see him back in whites..always great to watch competitive cricket and Shane is great at it..

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 15:42 GMT)

i want him to play. How bad can he do? Much better than lyon even at this age im sure.

Posted by Masking_Tape on (December 4, 2012, 15:41 GMT)

Yeah, I hope he does come out and play, so I can see KP and AC can give him the last beating of his life. ESP after the way he tweets about his fish and dips, or his "cute" love-tringle thing with Liz and the bird or the dog, whatever it is, it's getting very annoying seeing him become such softy. Yeah Warne, come out of retirement and face it, face it like a man

Posted by Nightwing32 on (December 4, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

Warne really needs to stop spewing stuff which would lead the media to change it around and believe that he will be coming back for the Ashes.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

You might as well call up Brad Hogg as well if Warney comes back.lol

Posted by Narbavi on (December 4, 2012, 15:29 GMT)

Being a spinner he can surely play, especially since he looks fitter than he was in his playing days, but it would also send a wrong signal to Australia's young spinners coming up the ranks!! I would personally love to see him play, it would become a sensation world wide, but if i have to think like an Australian, then i would think 'do i really need a 43yr old retired legend to come back and give us a shot at the ashes'??

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 15:25 GMT)

Oh Warney, how we'd all love to see you back, and how we know that you could easily make your way back into any team, let alone Australia! However, we know that these type of statements are part and parcel of who you are, and the fact that I am reading a whole article on such a statement makes me laugh heartily! Well played, mate, well played!

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

Jut don't burn your finger a week before this time. Is all I am saying.

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 15:12 GMT)

an attention seeking tactic from warnie! even though i think he would still do much better than current crop of australian spinners but i just don't see it happening!

Posted by CricketMaan on (December 4, 2012, 14:55 GMT)

haha..English will start to wet in thier pants if they know Warnie is back!! Bell boy will shiver in his shoes

Posted by varkay on (December 4, 2012, 14:47 GMT)

It would be really great to see Shane Warne back in Test cricket even if it is for a short span of time. Australia lacks quality spinners and his come back would really inspire the spinners and the team against England. On cards, England looks much better team than Australia in both batting and bowling. Australia lacks quality bowlers and middle order is shaky except for clarke forms which cannot be permanent.

Posted by MilroyL.S.A.Don on (December 4, 2012, 14:38 GMT)

We would love to see Warne bowling again so Murali could make a come back too?

Posted by Nuxxy on (December 4, 2012, 14:17 GMT)

The funny thing is that it is South Africa who are missing a Warne, and Australia who are missing a Steyn.

Posted by PhaniBhaskar24 on (December 4, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

Warny---wants to be back in the ground at the big stage..i would defenitely skip my duties that day & watch the legent bowl to English....and the way he said " try to make a comeback and go through grade cricket, first-class cricket and try to get selected...."makes me think, he really is serious

Posted by   on (December 4, 2012, 13:57 GMT)

No surprise...He's always busy with these publicity stunts...

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