MacGill out of retirement to play T20 cricket

Sydney: Former Test leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has come out of a three-year retirement and joined veterans Shane Warne and Matthew Hayden in signing contracts to play in the Australia`s Twenty20 league.

MacGill will play with the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash competition. He played 44 Tests for Australia, taking 208 wickets, but retired in 2008 during a tour of the West Indies due to hand and wrist ailments.

The 40-year-old MacGill recently played two Twenty20 games in first grade for Sydney University, returning figures of 1-26 and 2-13.

MacGill said he played Twenty20 in England when the format first started, "so I`ve got a rough understanding and the demands it places on the bowlers ... I`ve always thought it was good for the old blokes."

MacGill`s Sixers will take on Warne`s Melbourne Stars at the Sydney Cricket Ground on December 27.

The 42-year-old Warne, who played his last Test for Australia in 2007, signed with the Stars in early November.

Warne finished with a then world-record 708 Test wickets, part of the reason why MacGill played in Warne`s shadow for much of his career.

"I don`t know if I can spin it as far as I used to but they`re spinning far enough. It doesn`t really matter if you hit me over the fence. I`ve been hit there before," he said.

Since retiring, MacGill has been a breakfast radio host and appeared as a television wine show presenter.

He also seems to have softened his impression about the Big Bash`s main sponsor, a fast-food chicken conglomerate.

MacGill earlier this year criticised Cricket Australia for having the multinational company as a major sponsor.

"The problem for me is that (they) are hitting parents where they`re vulnerable," said MacGill, who has two young children. "Parents are already under a lot of pressure from kids to buy this stuff and when you get the Australian cricket team endorsing it, you just increase that pressure. It`s just wrong in so many ways."

Bureau Report

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