Warne tipped to coach young spinners
SHANE Warne is on the verge of accepting a job with Cricket Australia as a coach and mentor to the country’s young spinners, and hopes to play a key role in creating an Australian spin dynasty for the post-Warne era.
The world’s most successful Test bowler might have gone global since his retirement, fielding offers from India, England and even Germany, but the 38-year-old is not lost to Australian cricket and has been talking to Cricket Australia’s operation manager Michael Brown since he returned from Britain last week.
The mentoring role should ensure Warne plays an important part in extending his legacy long after his world record, which could be broken by the controversial Sri Lankan champion Muttiah Muralidaran on Australian soil next month, is erased.
While Warne believes the more seasoned Stuart MacGill deserves first crack at replacing him for this summer’s Test series against Sri Lanka and India, he wants to play a significant role in nurturing the next generation of spinners.
This includes the contracted South Australians Cullen Bailey and Dan Cullen, regarded as a Test spin pairing for the future, and Victorian captain Cameron White.
He has already contacted Cullen and Bailey, who are mentored by Warne’s coach, Terry Jenner, in Adelaide.
“I am speaking to Cricket Australia at the moment about how we can best utilise my skills and my experiences of the game and how we can get around to all the states and help the other spinners, talk to the captains,” Warne said.
“We’re just working out the best way to do it, with the time restraints as well, in season, out of season, all that stuff. Hopefully I can play a big part.”
Cricket Australia is aiming to strike an agreement with Warne for the coming season, although the details of the position are yet to be completed.
“We would bite like a starving snapper if there was an opportunity to have him involved,” said Cricket Australia spokesman Peter Young.
“He is passionate about Australian cricket and wants to put something back into Australian cricket. He has a remarkable cricket brain and what is really exciting, above all, is what he might do for slow bowlers. It’s an exciting possibility, but it’s early days.”
Warne has a year to run on his contract with English county Hampshire, and is expected to represent an Indian team in that country’s new Twenty20 Premier League in April.
While Australian selector David Boon said anyone who thought there was a “like-for-like” replacement for Warne was dreaming, the man himself believes there are plenty of options.
Bailey is a talented and conscientious leggie who has modelled his action on Richie Benaud, while the off spinner Cullen has drawn comparisons with Ashley Mallett. Jenner has urged the selectors not to pick them until they are ready.
“MacGiller has done exceptionally well when he has had to play so he will probably be the first choice. The good thing for Australian cricket is there are plenty of good spinners around,” Warne said.
■Australian umpire Darrell Hair believes his sacking by the International Cricket Council will cost him $3.9 million.
Hair, 55, is suing the ICC for racial discrimination in the central London tribunal over a decision to sack him from matches involving Test nations — a claim cricket’s governing body vehemently denies.
Hair told the tribunal he had been unable to find work in Australia since leaving Britain to escape the media glare that followed last year’s controversial abandoned Test between England and Pakistan at the Oval. With AAP