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July 30, 2001

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Match-fixing claims almost forced Warne to quit

Shane Warne was on the verge of quitting cricket following fresh accusations of match-fixing on the eve of Australia's World Cup triumph in 1999, he said in a British newspaper on Monday.

The leg-spinner says in his new autobiography, serialised in the Daily Mail this week, that he told skipper Steve Waugh he was considering retirement after the final against Pakistan at Lord's.

"I was sick and tired of innuendo and rumour about everything in my life and of having to prove myself innocent," he said.

He continued: "My tone clearly took him (Waugh) by surprise, but he warned me not to make a rash decision," he said.

His mind was changed by the reception given to the victorious Australian side on their arrival back home and he decided to fight for his Test place.

"Then the victory parades began back home and they were unbelievable...They made me realise what I would be missing, the dressing room humour and sharing the great times with the team."

Warne blames David Hookes for his disillusionment, saying the former Australian Test batsman claimed on radio that there were further match-fixing revelations to emerge concerning Warne.

"I have never attempted to fix a game, or any part of a game. I never would. Nor have I knowingly received any money from a bookmaker," Warne added.

He was drawn in to the match-fixing scandal after accepting an unspecified sum from a man named 'John' while touring Sri Lanka in 1994/95 in exchange for pitch information, for which he was fined 8,000 Australian dollars by the Australian Cricket Board.

According to Warne, he lost all the money he was given at a casino the same evening.

Four years later the allegations were made public and the furore forced Warne to consider his future.

Mail Cricket Editor

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