Warne open to Ashes return

Tue Dec 4, 2012 11:42pm IST

Former cricketer and commentator Shane Warne faces a television camera after the first cricket test match between England and South Africa at the Oval cricket ground in London July 23, 2012. REUTERS/Philip Brown/Files

Former cricketer and commentator Shane Warne faces a television camera after the first cricket test match between England and South Africa at the Oval cricket ground in London July 23, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Philip Brown/Files

REUTERS - Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne believes he still has the ability to play at the highest level and will consider coming out of retirement to play in next year's Ashes series if asked by captain Michael Clarke.

"If your best friend says, 'Mate, I want you to seriously consider making a commitment to Australian cricket and coming back out of retirement', (to) make myself available for selection, that's a different scenario,'' Warne, 43, told the Herald-Sun newspaper in Melbourne.

"Especially with back-to-back Ashes coming up next year, it could be a 12-month thing where you take three spinners with you and say, 'Righto, work with these spinners and see how you go for 12 months.' That's a different kettle of fish.

"I'm definitely not asking for Michael Clarke to come out and say that - that's a different scenario.

"You asked me if I think I could still play international cricket if I wanted to just turn up, do my bowling and if the first Test match was in three weeks, do you think I could play, (then) I'd have no hesitation in saying yes - and I think I'd do pretty well."

Warne, who retired from international cricket in 2007, is the second highest test wicket-taker ever with 708 dismissals. He was named as one of the Wisden almanac's best five cricketers of the 20th century.

"From a purely bowling perspective, I don't think my form would be the concern, it's just the time and actually making that commitment again," he said.

"For me it's not a matter of whether I could do it or not - I have absolutely no doubt if I wanted to commit to try to make a comeback and go through grade cricket, first-class cricket and try to get selected...that I could do it."

(Reporting by Josh Reich)

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