Warne out of retirement for Australia’s Big Bash

ENGLAND’S former Ashes nemesis Shane Warne confirmed yesterday he is to come out of retirement and play for the Melbourne Stars in the inaugural Big Bash League.

The 42-year-old leg-spinner called time on his illustrious career six months ago following the completion of his stint with Indian Premier League franchise the Rajasthan Royals.

Warne, whose last appearance on home soil saw him claim his 1,000th international wicket as Australia completed a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Sydney, has signed a 12-month deal ahead of the newly formed domestic Twenty20 competition.

“I’m fitter than I have ever been. I had a few offers but the MCG has been my backyard for 20 years,” he said. “There were a few offers about playing a game here or there. And I thought if I’m going to do this, let’s do it properly.

“I thought it was an opportunity where I could actually give something back to the game of cricket.

“It’s got nothing to do with money. If it had something to do with money I’d still be playing in the IPL.

“This is something that I’m passionate about. It’s something new and that’s what enticed me.”

Warne will be joined in the competition by England all-rounder Luke Wright, while former one-day captain Paul Collingwood (Perth Scorchers), Owais Shah (Hobart Hurricanes) and Michael Lumb (Sydney Sixers) have also been signed up.