The Ashes aftermath September 13, 2005

Warne unsure of playing future


Thinking time: Shane Warne is not in a rush to outline his plans © Getty Images

Shane Warne insisted he had not had any thoughts about quitting international cricket after bowing out of Test match action in England as a member of the losing side for the first time. Although Warne, who turned 36 today, dropped Man-of-the-Match Kevin Pietersen when he was on 15 and then saw his Hampshire team-mate score 158, no Australian had done more than him to retain the Ashes.

There had been speculation that Warne, who took 40 wickets in the series and is now captaining Hampshire, might bow out from Test cricket at the end of one of the best series of all time. But Warne, the only man to take 600 Test wickets, told reporters after stumps he'd made no plans about his Test future having earlier this year separated from his wife Simone, the mother of his three young children.

"Last time I said an honest thought about that, I was accused of causing a distraction to the team so I'd rather not go into that," he said. "With international cricket you've got to take the whole package. It's the living out of the suitcase, it's the living in the hotels, the touring, the time away from your family, your children and those types of things.

"You can't just say I want to keep playing. You've got to weigh up the whole package and weigh up the most important thing to you. At the moment in my life my kids are the most important thing to me. I haven't seen them for a lengthy period of time in the last 10 months and I really am missing them. I've got a couple of weeks left here for Hampshire and I'll get home and see then which will be great."

Warne said he wouldn't rush any decisions about his playing future. "Hopefully in 18 months, if I'm still around, I'd love the opportunity to help try to regain the Ashes in Australia," he said. "If I'm not, I'm not, cricket will move on."

Warne said he had no complaints about the result of the series. "We just weren't good enough," he said. "England deserved to win and they outplayed us for the last four Test matches. We didn't really deserve to win and we hung on at Old Trafford where we didn't deserve a draw."

Warne has taken his fair share of abuse from English crowds, albeit in a pantomime villain kind of way, but he said he had no problems generally with spectators during the series. "They are entitled to gloat for a while," he said. "They deserve their time in the sun for the way they've played. For me it was a nice touch for them to say 'we wish you were English'. I'm never going to play another Test here, I like to think I've entertained them and given a lot of enjoyment over the years because they've given me a lot of enjoyment too."