Will honour final two years of his contract December 21, 2006

Warne to play on for Hampshire

Cricinfo staff

Hampshire have confirmed that Shane Warne will be returning to The Rose Bowl next season even though he retires from international cricket after the Sydney Test.

Warne said that regaining the Ashes was his remaining reason for continuing to play at the top flight, and with that achieved, the time was right to go. He also said that he would not play for Victoria or St Kilda, his club side.

Although he has two years of a four-year deal with Hampshire to run, there had been speculation that he would not be back in 2007. But he soon quashed those. "I have always given 100% in whatever series or match I've played," he said at an emotional press conference in Melbourne. "I will continue to play with Hampshire and lead the team the best way I can."

Rod Bransgrove, Hampshire's chairman, was delighted with the news. "It's fantastic for Hampshire and our supporters that he has chosen to see out his playing career at The Rose Bowl. Shane has been a cornerstone of the restructuring of Hampshire Cricket over recent years that has seen the team develop into an attractive and seriously competitive unit.

"I never doubted his intentions to fulfill his contract with Hampshire and I know that I speak for all Hampshire fans when I congratulate him on his achievements to date and look forward to seeing him back at The Rose Bowl next year."