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Shane Warne, the former Australia legspinner, has committed his immediate future to Hampshire but will not be available for the club's Twenty20 Cup campaign due to a poker tournament in Las Vegas.
"Now that I am retired from international cricket - in fact all cricket in Australia - I am gradually moving into other areas," Warne wrote in his column in the Times. "There is a deal in the pipeline with a poker company that will involve playing in certain events through the year. I can fit what I do around the cricket."
Warne is no newcomer to poker. In 2006 he and Zac Goldsmith, the son of the billionaire Sir James and the editor of The Ecologist, set up a high-stakes charity tournament which attracted big names, raising more than $500,000. And after retiring from international cricket 12 months ago, Warne, 38, is looking at other avenues besides cricket.
"The World Series takes place in Las Vegas at the same time as the Twenty20 Cup," he said. "I definitely want to go to Las Vegas and I have not played Twenty20 for the past few seasons.
"It has always come at an ideal time to take a break. I am 38 and, after 20 or so years in the game, I need a rest at some point during a six-month campaign."