Tuesday 20 March 2018

Cricket: Shane Warne may end his self-imposed retirement

SHANE Warne believes he could still play Test cricket to a high standard and hinted he could be persuaded to represent Australia once again.

Warne ended a hugely successful international career following the infamous 5-0 Ashes whitewash of England in 2007.

The leg-spinner is the second highest wicket-taker of all time in Tests with 708 scalps - second only to his great rival Muttiah Muralitharan.

Yet despite his age and more than five years away from Test cricket, 43-year-old Warne thinks he could still make an impact.

With a back-to-back Ashes series around the corner and his best friend Michael Clarke skipper of the Australia side, Warne stated he would not dismiss a return out of hand.

"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, who has taken 195 Ashes wickets in 36 Tests at an average of 23.25, told www.adelaidenow.com.au.

"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? I'd have no hesitation in saying yes - and I think I'd do pretty well.

"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."

Australia have come up woefully short in the spin department since Warne stood down and Nathan Lyon did not enhance his chances of regular selection after a poor performance in the third Test against South Africa in Perth recently.

The off-spinner conceded 128 runs from 22 overs in the second innings as the Proteas racked up a matchwinning score.

"I felt like I wanted to jump off the couch and grab the ball," Warne added.

"When you've got international bowlers bowling one or two full-tosses an over and half-volleys, I felt for Pup (Clarke), I really felt for him."

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