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Warne to retire from ODIs

January 22, 2003 15:06 IST

Shane Warne has announced he will quit playing one-day cricket immediately after the World Cup in a bid to prolong his Test career.

The Australian leg-spinner told a news conference in Sydney on Wednesday he decided to retire from the shortened version of the game to save himself for cricket's more traditional contests.

"I'm going to retire from one-day international cricket when the World Cup finishes," he said.

"The World Cup is once every four years and I thought it was a great opportunity for me to end my one-day career internationally."

Warne has been troubled by shoulder problems in recent years and said the wear and tear of one-day cricket is finally taking its toll on his body.

"I love playing cricket for Australia but the number one priority for me is to play Test cricket for as long as I can," he said.

"I'm only 33 and think I've still got a lot of cricket left for Australia," added Warne, who was named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the century in 2000.

Warne said he had been considering retirement for a while but finally made up his mind after dislocating his shoulder in a limited-overs match against England last month.

"That sort of brought my thinking home about how hard it is on your body in one-day cricket," he said.

"Everyone I've spoken to thinks it's a pretty positive and smart decision."


Warne, man of the match in Australia's victory over Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup final, is already Australia's greatest wicket-taker in both Tests (491) and one-dayers (288) and is rapidly closing in on Courtney Walsh's world record of 519 Test wickets.

But his career has been stalled in recent years by a series of injuries that have threatened his long-term playing future.

Warne almost missed the World Cup after last month's shoulder injury but was cleared after surgery found the damage was not as bad as initially feared.

He missed Australia's last six one-day matches as well as the final two Ashes Tests but is expected to make his comeback in the first one-day series final against England on Thursday.

The World Cup is being hosted in southern Africa from February 9 to March 23.

Australia chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns said: "The selectors agree that removing those pressures should prolong his effectiveness as a Test bowler."

Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chief executive Tim May said Warne's retirement highlighted the need to address the issue of scheduling.

"Shane's early retirement from one-day international cricket raises a concern regarding the possible early retirement of the game's leading players due to the non-stop nature of the international cricketing schedule," May said in a statement.

Warne had been in good form before his shoulder injury, taking 14 wickets at 24.79 in the first three Tests of the Ashes series.


Two weeks before his 33rd birthday in September last year, Warne told The Sunday Age newspaper in Melbourne he wanted to make a fourth Ashes tour of England in 2005 and may give up one-day cricket to pursue his goal.

The Australian bowled what is regarded as the "ball of the century" in Manchester in 1993 with his first Ashes delivery, clipping Mike Gatting's off bail after pitching outside leg stump.

In 2001 he took 31 wickets in Australia's seventh successive series win over England.

Plagued by negative headlines throughout his career, Warne says he is trying to simply concentrate on cricket and his critics can please themselves.

"I just went through a stage where it was outrageous, some of the stuff that was happening. Yeah, I did a couple of things," he told The Sunday Age in 2002.

"I realised a long, long time ago that not everyone will like you.

"For whatever reason, they don't like the way you play, they don't like the way you conduct yourself -- jealousy, whatever it might be."

The bowler had a career-threatening shoulder operation in 1998. He has also had finger surgery.

He was involved in two major controversies when he claimed he was offered a bribe by Salim Malik to throw a Test match in Pakistan 1994.

Warne later admitted receiving money from a bookmaker in Sri Lanka but said it was a gift, not a bribe. He was fined and reprimanded by the Australian Cricket Board over the incident.

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