Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Shane Warne set for one more bash

Shane Warne (42) announces his return at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday
Shane Warne (42) announces his return at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday

The wonders of being in love with a woman like Liz Hurley are there for all to see as Shane Warne performs the impossible yet again — by looking younger yesterday than he did on his first-class debut back in 1990.

The blond bombshell, who insists that his chiselled new look is purely down to dietary changes — he infamously survived on pizzas for the majority of his Test career — rather than any surgeon's knife, announced in Australia that he has come out of retirement at the age of 42 to play for the Melbourne Stars in the inaugural Big Bash (Twenty20) League.

Warne has signed a one-year deal that will see him play competitively in his homeland for the first time in five years.

Warne's last appearance on home soil saw him claim his 1,000th international wicket as Australia completed a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Sydney.

The spinner will be a major draw for the competition, which begins next month with eight city-based franchises competing against each other.

Warne admitted he was itching to return in front of his adoring fans at the MCG.

“I'm fitter than I have ever been. I had a few offers but the MCG has been my backyard for 20 years,” he said.

“There were a few offers about playing a game here or there and I thought if I'm going to do this, let's do it properly.

“I thought it was an opportunity where I could actually give something back to the game of cricket.

“It's got nothing to do with money. If it had, I'd still be playing in the IPL.

“This is something that I'm passionate about. It's something new — and that's what enticed me.”

Asked if he might play more than one year, Warne replied: “I'm 42. Let's see how it goes.”

Warne's return had been anticipated after he revealed in September that he would like to play for one of the two Melbourne-based teams.

The Big Bash League runs from December 16 until January 28 with each side able to field two overseas players.

England all-rounder Luke Wright will join Warne at the Stars while former one-day captain Paul Collingwood (Perth Scorchers), Owais Shah (Hobart Hurricanes) and Michael Lumb (Sydney Sixers) have also been signed.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre