Melbourne, May 20 : Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland has all but ruled out Shane Warne's shock offer of making a Test cricket comeback for next year's Ashes series.
"Shane is currently retired, it's really up to him if he wants to make himself available.The Ashes is still 15 months away and Shane's been retired for 15 months," the Fox Sports quoted Sutherland as saying.
"The reality is that Shane is retired from international cricket and is not available for selection until he is not retired," he added.
"I don't want to speculate as to what process Shane would go through (to be available for selection), he further said.
Shane had expressed his willingness to make a comeback, saying that f circumstances were right, he would consider returning against arch-enemy England in the 2009 series.
"If Australia really needed me and there was no one else around, and Ricky thought I could do the job, you would weigh up the options," said Warne.
But Sutherland is not excited about the possibility of his comeback, asserting that it was highly unlikely it would come to fruition.
Warne has outplayed other teams in the Indian Premier League with his inspiring leadership of Team Jaipur and has taken 14 wickets at 18.78 runs.
His record of capturing 708 wickets in 145 Tests with his tricky leg-spin confirms of his iconic stature in international cricket.
Warne hoped to contribute to the Australian team if Stuart MacGill could not make it due to an injury.
"If Stuart MacGill fell over and broke his leg, and there were no other spinners around, and Ricky came out and said, 'Mate, can you please help us out for this one-off tour? We need you', that is something I would weigh up," the 38-year-old said.
Earlier Australian skipper Ricky Ponting had asserted that while Warne was bowling as well as ever, he doubted the leg-spin king was interested in a comeback.
The Test skipper has endorsed Stuart MacGill, fresh from taking 4-79 and 3-50 in a tour match against a Jamaican XI in the West Indies, as Australia's probable 2009 Ashes spinner.
"If his body stays right, there is no doubt that he is the best wicket-taking spinner in Australia," The Australian quoted Ponting, as saying.
"So, if he keeps himself fit and has the desire and passion to keep playing cricket, then I'm pretty sure he would be good enough to get the Ashes' job done," Ponting added.ut Warne told the Herald Sun he would return if his country needs him.
"If I wanted to keep playing I don't think there would be an issue with me being the No.1 spinner and performing,I would still love to be playing international cricket, and miss it because I devoted 20 years to first-class cricket. It is a big part of my life," he said.
Story first published: Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 16:43 [IST]
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