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Warne rises for the Ashes

The Telegraph
Thursday, December 06, 2012

Shane Warne has said there is "absolutely no doubt" he could still play international cricket even though he has not figured in a Test match since 2006.

Warne was speaking at a press conference in Australia on Tuesday and said he would consider a return at the request of his friend Michael Clarke.

"If your best friend says, 'Mate, I want you to seriously consider making a commitment to Australian cricket and come back out of retirement', to make myself available for selection, that's a different scenario," the leg-spinner said.

"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."

Australia have failed to settle on a regular spinner since Warne's retirement and he no doubt watches the struggles of the likes of Nathan Lyon and thinks he could do a better job at the age of 43. But his commercial and media commitments are long term and binding.

Australian cricket would also be ridiculed if it rolled back the clock in a desperate attempt to regain the Ashes.

"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," said Warne, who will play for the Melbourne Stars in the Twenty20 Big Bash tomorrow.

"My kids are turning 16, 14 and 12 next year and we're juggling two continents, Elizabeth's work and my work commitment.

"There's travel, sponsors, businesses, there are charities, so much stuff that I'd basically have to put it all on hold to make a commitment to international cricket. That's the reason I haven't for a while said I'm gonna make a comeback."

Warne's comments came as Australian cricket sought to rebuild following the 1-0 series defeat at home to South Africa, who cemented their place ahead of England as the world's top-ranked Test team.

The Australian media accused Clarke's team of a "monumental failure" in the 309-run third Test loss at the WACA in Perth which sealed the series.

"Champions contemptuously put the Australians in their place," said The Australian newspaper.

"Perth was a monumental failure at a critical moment and a timely reminder that Michael Clarke's side is number three — better on a good day and worse on a bad one like this," said their cricket writer, Peter Lalor.

Sydney's Daily Telegraph also highlighted top-order failures, saying, "Batting drought bad news for Ashes", referring to the series with England next year.

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