London: The campaign to bring back spin king Shane Warne reached its hilt today when a group of fans offered the legendary cricketer one million Australian dollars to make himself available for the remaining three Ashes Tests.
The 41-year-old, who has taken 708 Test wickets, has been consistently urged by the desperate fans across Australia to help out the Aussie team revive from the slump. Warne, however, has time and again negated any possibility of him coming out of the retirement.
The England team director, Andy Flower on the other hand was perplexed over the prospect of spin wizard being intrigued out of retirement, saying, “I would think that’s a joke. Shane has retired from international cricket. I’ve heard how much he earns and I would have thought they would have to make a bigger contribution than that.”
Meanwhile, a website - www.bringbackwarne.com - has been launched after Australia went one down in the Ashes series.
“We have had so much traffic that the site is currently running very slowly,” said Ross Heywood, who launched the campaign.
“We have only raised about USD 4,000 at this stage, however, it has certainly initiated a considerable amount of debate. Will we achieve our goal of Warne playing? I think if people get behind the concept and contribute funds we have a better chance,” Heywood insisted.
Heywood, however said, “The feedback we’ve had has been varied. Many love the idea of seeing him play again, some have suggested it would be the wrong move for Australian cricket. We are eager to see how things evolve over the next few days.”
Warne retired from Test cricket during England’s last tour of Australia in 2006. The legend has been, though, seen only in action for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League for the last three seasons.