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Tuesday, 11 December 2012

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Sheik of Tweak Warne wanting to make a Test return

Believe it or not Shane Warne --the Sheikh who ruled the world of tweak wants to make a comeback to Test cricket. His reason : he wants to help his country win back the Ashes from England in the series next year.

Warne who is captaining the Melbourne Stars in the big bash, and who is being paid 500.000 Australian dollars, was the greatest leg spin bowler that the world of cricket has seen and perhaps will ever see.With an action that was poetry in motion with no questions asked, Warne mastered and bowled the most difficult art of bowling. He spent hours and hours at the nets with his mentor former Aussie leg spinner Terry Jenner and became a star. He perfected the art in an artful manner that made him a legend.

It was Sri Lanka who launched him into stardom. That was at the Sinhalese Sports Club in a Test match when Sri Lanka was cruising to victory. Then suddenly there was a collapse caused by Warne and Sri Lanka gifted the Aussies a victory.

Captains Border, Ranatunga

Australia was captained by Allan Border and Sri Lanka by Arjuna Ranatunga. In the first innings Warne was bashed around and went wicketless and I remember Ranatunga hitting him for sixes with ease.

With the Lankans poised for a historic victory I remember I wrote a column on the previous day in the ‘Daily News’ captioned ‘ A MATCH IS NOT WON OR LOST TILL THE FINAL BALL IS BOWLED’, urging the Lankans to be watchful.

With the Sri Lankan openers Roshan Mahanama and Chandika Hathurusinghe giving us a strong start and putting us on the victory road, batsmen of the calibre of Aravinda de Silva, Asanka Gurusinha, Arjuna Ranatunga and Hashan Tillekeratne were expected to put the finishing touches and the icing on the cake.

Skipper Border sensing defeat turned to the leg spin of Warne. And did not Warne deliver! Getting good spin and bounce off that SSC wicket, he turned the game on its head.

Among the wickets

Warne immediately got among the wickets and Sri Lanka collapsed sensationally to hand a victory to the Aussies that did not seem possible when play began and the HERO was SHANE WARNE.

Warne never looked back from that point and went on to bemuse and bamboozle the best of batsmen around the world finally ending up with 700 Test wickets, which was incredible.

The legendary spinner now 43, is confident that age is no barrier and that he could bowl as well as he did before. Incidentally former Aussie spinner Clarie Grimmet played when he was 44.

With the bowling battles in the losing series against South Africa, the Victorian said if the call came from his best mate, Australian Captain Michael Clarke, he’d rethink. Unlike fast bowlers who do a lot of running to deliver, a spin bowler, especially Warne, virtually walks to deliver, not wasting much energy. With him still bowling well in the Big Bash there is no reason why he should not come back.

Urging come back

Warne is not lacking for want of support. Fans and supporters from around the world are urging Warne to come back to Test cricket. Two- thirds of almost 10,000 heraldsun.com.au readers said they wanted Clarke to make a call.

But Cricket Australia will not allow the leg spinner easy passage into Test cricket. According to Cricket Australia there was no selection alternative other than do the hard yards through domestic cricket.

‘Shane Warne making himself available for Test selection is a tantalising thought, but ultimately this would mean Warne making himself available to play Sheffield Shield cricket, which is the place where Australian Test cricketers are selected from,’ according to a Cricket Australia spokesman.

General Manager, Cricket Victoria Shaun Graff said he would welcome Warne back into Victorian cricket, but he would have to prove himself through club ranks again’.

Surfeit of spinners

Victoria has a surfeit of spin bowlers in Jon Holland, Cameron White, Glenn Maxwell, James Muirhead and Fawd Ahmed and there is no dearth. Warne will have to train and go through grade cricket again.There has been a recent precedent in Australian cricket where retired left arm leg spinner Brad Hogg was called into the national Twenty20 team after a four-year international retirement. But the selection principle remains the same with Hogg having to come back through domestic ranks. It would be interesting to watch whether the great Warne will be willing to go through the mill again.

And now for a vegetariian controversy!

Former Australia terror bowler Dennis Lillee who along with Jeff Thomson formed a pair of fast bowlers who batsmen of that era feared to front up to, does not agree with Australian speed man Peter Siddle’s switching to a vegetarian diet.

Lillee doesn’t think that genuine fast bowlers can excel in the long-term without a staple diet of meat and fish. He says you have got to have good protein to rebuild muscle after you have bowled 50 overs in a Test match.

The great fast bowler says that he hasn’t seen too many outright fast bowlers that have survived as outright vegetarians. He wishes Siddle good luck for trying the vegetarian diet.

Lillee says former West Indian fast bowler Collin Croft tried the vegetarian diet for almost 18 months and all of a sudden said he can’t do it. Meat and fish is a must diet for fast bowler’s in his opinion. Lillee also believes that fast bowlers could be managed more effectively, not by resting them but by getting them to do more. He says that running is a fast bowler’s game.

erodrigopulle@gmail.com
 

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