Chappell rules out Warne’s return

Monday, December 13, 2010

MELBOURNE - Australian selector Greg Chappell said he is amused at the growing hype over the return of Shane Warne to revive the country’s hopes of winning the Ashes series and made it clear that the legendary leg-spinner is not in contention for the third Test at Perth.

After the two Tests of the series, Australia trail 0-1 and are in danger of losing the urn for the first time since 1986-87 when Mike Gatting led England’s last triumphant Ashes tour Down Under.

Australia’s loss in the second Test at Adelaide led to growing calls for Warne’s return from retirement despite the fact he has played only Twenty20 cricket in the past three years.

“I have been amused by it. Warne’s been a great bowler (but) he’s 41 years of age, or near enough to 41,” Chappell was quoted as saying in Sunday Herald in an interview by his brother, Ian.

“I’m sure he could still land a few but I don’t know that that’s going to take Australian cricket forward. We haven’t really given a lot of thought about it other than that.

Warne also has the backing of his former teammates, with Brett Lee saying the spin king’s return will give Australia the much-needed psychological edge.

“It’s not just what he can do as a bowler - it’s what he’d do to their batsmen’s minds,” said Brett Lee. “It is the mental side as well.

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