Sydney: Shane Warne, Australia’s greatest match-winner, has said he believes he is still good enough to play Test cricket and would do so if his country needed his services to bolter a flagging bowling attack.
The 43-year-old said he was "very happily" retired from international cricket, but admitted that if Michael Clarke, Australia’s Test captain, asked him to come out of retirement he would give it serious consideration.
"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 was quoted as saying by the Daily Telegraph . "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.
Australia’s leading wicket-taker has not ruled out an international return should his country seriously demand it.
"If you asked me 'Can I come out and play a Test match tomorrow?' I'd have absolutely no doubt I could rip them out of the rough and turn them square, all that sort of stuff," said Warne. "But playing international cricket is a huge commitment. Playing Twenty20 is different. You're only bowling 24 deliveries, sometimes you might only bowl eight, sometimes 12. It depends on what the game needs. You don't have to be prepared as you do for a Test match, to bowl 60 overs in a match."
Warne, 43, retired as Test cricket's leading wicket-taker with 708 victims after the Ashes in early 2007, but was surpassed by former Sri Lanka offspinner Muttiah Muralitharan. Since then he has kept busy with Twenty20 cricket, playing for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, county side Hampshire in England and the Melbourne Starts in the Big Bash League, for whom he will play in the second season starting on Friday. He has also commentated and played poker across the world.
This is not the first time Warne has been involved in talk of an international retirement. In December 2010, he had said he was "flattered" at talk of a possible comeback to help Australia's struggling bowling attack and stopped short of completely ruling out a return.