Sat, May 07, 2011 - Page 18 News List

Warne to quit after season

AFP and Reuters, NEW DELHI and MUMBAI, INDIA

Australian bowling legend Shane Warne yesterday said he would quit professional cricket after the end of the ongoing IPL season.

“Yes this is my last year playing IPL,” Warne, 41, posted on his Twitter account. “I will miss the IPL but it’s been fun for the last 4 seasons... I’ve had a great time - but it’s time to say goodbye to IPL.”

“Thanks for kind words re my bowling - but it’s 100 percent my last four games of professional cricket unless we make finals,” he wrote.

The leg-spin great took 708 Test wickets before retiring from international cricket in 2007. He has been the Rajasthan Royals’ captain-cum-coach in the four editions of the money-spinning Twenty20 tournament.

Warne, who also grabbed 293 wickets in one-day internationals, has still managed to spin a web around batsmen with his flight and turn and has taken 11 wickets in nine IPL matches this season.

Rajasthan are currently fourth in the points table in this edition and well-placed to make it to the knockout rounds.

“A big thank you to everyone that has helped me - supported me through all the ups and downs - hope you have enjoyed watching me play,” the flamboyant Warne added.

The Aussie captained Rajasthan to victory in the inaugural season of the Twenty20 competition, but the fortunes of the franchise took a nosedive in the next two seasons.

He has played 52 games for Rajasthan so far, picking up 56 wickets at an average of 24.66.

“We have a spirit in the squad similar to IPL 1 - it would be great to leave on a high - I’m proud of the way we have developed young players,” Warne wrote.

Warne has been the face of the franchise and it is likely he will continue to be associated with them as a mentor or coach, a role for which he has not ruled out.

“Re next year, who knows what or if I will be involved in IPL re mentor / coaching - am focused on doing best for RR [Rajasthan Royals] this year - see u at ground,” Warne wrote.

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