Warne fears success has made Oz arrogant

Melbourne, Dec 21 (UNI) Lambasting the ''arrogant mindset'' of the administrators and ex-players, spin wizard Shane Warne has warned officials they could be heading for a fall if they let success go to their heads.

A decade-long dominance in world cricket has sparked radical suggestions from various quarter including former Aussie coach John Buchanan that fringe Test and domestic players be allowed to play for rival nations to strengthen competition.

But Warne, who retired from international cricket last January as the all-time leading wicket-taker before he was overtaken by Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan, rubbishes all this suggestion and says that Australian cricket is playing a dangerous game of thinking its team is unchallengeable in world cricket.

''The only issue I have got with cricket at the moment is that Australian people and administrators and ex-players and ex-coaches -- a la John Buchanan -- have got to stop the arrogant mindset that Australia is so much better than anybody else,'' Warne said.

''Yes, Australia is the No. 1 country in the world, but all this bull..... about our players going to other countries and playing, what a lot of crap.

''There's going to be a time in the next two or three years when Australia is tested. Other countries will catch up and they will unearth someone, that's just the cycle.'' Warne also has stern words for the ICC,''The International Cricket Council (ICC) can't just sit back and say, We'll have another Twenty20 tournament, let's just have a World Cup and get more money in the game.

''The ICC must try to develop other countries. Get people who know about the game to spend time there. We need India, England, South Africa and West Indies to all be really strong.'' Lashing out against his former coach John Buchanan, Warne said that ''he is living in pixie land'' and gets ''verbal diarrhoea'' all the time.

''I disagree with John Buchanan all the time. I don't think he has made one good point in a long time, actually. Everything that I have read that he says, he is living in pixie land.

''It just shows what us players had to put up with John Buchanan.

We had to listen to his verbal diarrhoea all the time. He is just a goose and has no idea and lacks common sense, and you can put all that in there (the interview),'' Warne said.

Warne also called for the 50-over one-day internationals to be scrapped and replaced by Pro40, which has been a success in English domestic cricket.

''Keep Twenty20 to a minimum and keep it special because it is so entertaining. Just as long as administrators don't get greedy.

''I believe 50-over one-day internationals are finished. And I believe the 50-over competition should be replaced by a 40-over competition.

''Experiencing Pro40 in England, it's like two Twenty20 games.

Everybody wants everything fast. Pro40 has skill involved, is cricket and is entertaining. It ticks all the boxes. It also saves about 90 minutes.

''You can start Pro40 at 4pm and finish at 10pm. You can have a day game as well, starting at 10am and finishing at 4pm. Two games a day.

''Twenty20 is how minor nations, the likes of Canada and Holland, can improve and promote the game,'' he said.

About Test cricket Warne said there is nothing to be changed in the game.

''Everything,is very good, don't change it. Don't touch it. Test cricket is for tradition. Keep it. There is nothing wrong with it.

It is up to other countries to lift their game and raise the bar.'' On Bradd Hogg, the 38-year-old said, ''India plays the spinners extremely well, but Australian pitches are different. There is a lot of extra bounce and he (Hogg) can still have an impact.

''I think Hoggy will do well. They played me pretty well on the whole but I still had success against them. The way he (Hogg) has played in one-day cricket is how he should bowl in Test cricket.

''His plans will be the same, he just has to look to get them out. He is going to go for a few more runs an over if he bowls his 20 overs.

Commenting on Ricky Ponting, Warne said, ''I think he is becoming a really good captain. I think his man-management skills are good.

He is a bloody good bloke and I think his captaincy is starting to blossom.'' UNI

Story first published: Friday, December 21, 2007, 15:06 [IST]
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