All aboard the Twenty20 express, says Warne

LONDON - Retired players and budding talents will both get an opportunity when a worldwide Twenty20 format starts this year, former Australia bowler Shane Warne said on Monday.

By (Reuters)

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Mon 8 Feb 2010, 11:25 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:30 AM

Warne, 40, was speaking at a news conference at Lord’s to launch a global Twenty20 brand involving teams from the major cricket nations. He is captain of the Indian Premier League (IPL) team Rajasthan Royals who won the inaugural title in 2008.

“Once you’ve finished and you’ve still got a drive for the game what avenue is there to go out and play? You might get back to local cricket or grass roots development, but if you’re good enough the IPL is one option,” Warne told Reuters.

Rather than hinder the development of up-and-coming players, Warne believes the fusion of the veterans and the fresh-faced can only have positive results.

“Young Indian players for Rajasthan might be able to go to Hampshire, Cape Town or Trinidad to hone their cricket skills and also learn life skills. There’s nothing like it in the world that’s open to those sort of people,” he said.

The Royals have joined forces with England’s Hampshire, South African team Cape Cobras and West Indian club Trinidad and Tobago, as well as a yet-to-be confirmed Australia state team to form the competition.


The Australian retired from cricket in 2007 after a glittering test career in which he took 708 wickets in 145 matches, only bettered by Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan who is nearing 800 scalps.

Now plying his trade in the Twenty20 format, Warne is happy to help players such as former team mate and batsman Damien Martyn reignite their passion for the sport.

“The reason I went to Damien is because when I asked him ‘How keen are you?’ he said ‘I’m pumped. I’ve got a hunger and a drive to go and play cricket again.

“I said ‘We’ll back you but you’ve got to be in it for the right reasons’, to which he replied ‘I’ll do it for nothing.’

“He’s bought a bowling machine and is really excited about playing.”

Martyn, 38, played 67 tests for an average of 46.37, and is one of a handful of former Australian players to emerge from retirement and play in the lucrative IPL.

Compatriots Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath are other examples.

“It’s a great opportunity to come out and play,” said a shivering Warne, diving for cover into a Lord’s box as snow fell on the headquarters of world cricket.

More news from