Going into the last Ashes Cricket series against the combined nations of the world and a couple of Poms, I wanted Shane Warne to make a comeback.
I felt as though Warne could have added something to the side we desperately needed. His ability to tear through a batting lineup and put the best batsmen in the world in two minds is something we just didn’t have.
We went on to lose that series and since then you get the sense that Australian Cricket is treading water until the next batch of great players comes through the ranks.
Right now of the entire Australian lineup, only Michael Clarke would have claims to be a certain starter a few years from now. Every other player in the side are either on the verge of retirement or would be very replaceable should the type of talent Australian Cricket is used to producing comes along.
Having just watched Ricky Pontings career end with a whimper, you have to keep in mind that Shane Warne is four years older. These days he is a part time Cricketer, and good luck to him too! He is living the dream!
Warne plays a couple of dozen T/20 games a year, where his bowling record is of no interest to anyone at all, and he gets paid very handsomely to do it. He has managed to turn what he loves doing into a part time career that pays him like a full time career, and it allows him the breaks from the game he obviously enjoys at this point in his life.
While watching a second string Australian bowling attack struggle to contain a rampaging South African batting assault, Warne fired up. It is not a surprise he felt like he could have made a difference, at the WACA, at 42 years of age, against the worlds best team. That is the drive that made him the great player that he was.
I have no doubt that Warne still could bowl that magical ball that is completely unplayable. He is the best Cricketer I have ever seen. No one I have ever watched in my lifetime had the ability to step up against an in form batting lineup and by the end of the day have destroyed them. He made masters of the game look very ordinary.
The thing is, he will only come out of retirement if asked by Michael Clarke. He will be 43 by the time the next Ashes series starts. You would need him to step straight into test Cricket from the Sri Lankan series and get a good year of full time Cricket under his belt. Even accounting for all of that, the risk is you get to the Ashes series and find out that father time has robbed Shane Warne of his magic.
As much as I would love to see him given the opportunity to come back, I just can’t see him still being around come the Ashes series. The fire that was lit in his belly watching the anemic Australian attack could well have gone out by then. You also have to wonder what type of message that sends to the current group of test bowlers. Right now you have a lineup that is fairly young. If they are bringing in a 42 year old because these young guys are not up to the job, that is going to go down like a lead balloon.
So Warnie, its been great, but I think you should leave this one to the next generation of Cricketers.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
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