Wed, Oct 24, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Australia legend Warne not ready to call time on career

AFP, SYDNEY and AP, MELBOURNE, Australia

Australian cricket legend Shane Warne yesterday said he could not say when he would finally retire, as he prepares to captain a domestic Twenty20 team five years after leaving the international scene.

The 43-year-old leg-spinner announced his retirement in 2007, only to return as captain and coach of the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for four years, winning the inaugural tournament in 2008.

Warne appeared to bring down the curtain on his stellar, two-decade cricket career at the IPL in May last year, but went on to join the Australian Twenty20 team Melbourne Stars for the Big Bash League’s (BBL) inaugural season the same year and has continued playing with them.

“I have to never say ‘never’ because in 2007 I said I’d never play cricket again,” Warne told reporters in Melbourne. “But 18 months later the IPL came up, so that was something that interested me, to captain/coach and do it the way I always thought it should be done.”

Warne said each time he thought he might have played for the last time, another competition came along that sparked his interest.

“I do love cricket, I’m passionate about the game and if I can help Australian cricket in any way, shape or form then I will,” he said.

Switching his attention to Test cricket, Warne said home advantage will be the key factor in next month’s Test series between Australia and South Africa.

He said very little currently separates Australia, England, India and South Africa at Test level and series results often pivoted on home advantage.

The leg-spinner said “when you’re at home, you’re expected to win. There’s no real standout side for me. Anyone can beat anyone and when it’s at home I’d expect Australia to beat South Africa.”

Warne said the Test series, which starts in Brisbane on Nov. 9 “will be a great contest. It will be the bowlers who are on display for both teams, they will really test the batsmen’s techniques.”

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