|"I'm 43 and still bowl better than you."|
So how does a 43 year old man, with a huge belly, nowadays seen more with movie stars (well considering his fiancée is Liz Hurely that might seem proper) than cricketers, convince the Australian people that they need him to be in the test team? Well Warnie doesn't. Because like KP (Warnie's best friend in England), he already assumes that it's basic knowledge that the team needs him and wants him back. Hence he puts his name in the hat. However he didn't come and put his case as straight forward as I made it out to be, hence here's some translations of what he really meant when he said 'pick me'.
"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. 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."In other words, 'isn't it obvious that I can play. I'm saddened that I need to explain all this. Even Buchanan wouldn't have asked for this! I'm sure this 43 year old can whip any Beers and Lyons you throw my way.'
Speaking of the current Australian spinners and their display in the recent series against South Africa, Warne said,
"I felt like I wanted to jump off the couch and grab the ball. I really felt for Michael Clarke from a captaincy point of view. When you've got international bowlers bowling one or two full-tosses an over and half-volleys, I felt for Pup, I really felt for him.''Translation of those lines, 'Now isn't it obvious that Australia needs me? Pup, I feel for you, mate. It's tough having second grade spinners in your side. Pick me and you needn't worry about that.'
"My kids are turning 16, 14 and 12 next year and we're juggling two continents, (wife-to-be) Elizabeth's (Hurley) work and my work commitments. There's travel, sponsors, businesses, there are charities, so much stuff that I'd basically have to put it all on hold to make a commitment to international cricket. That's the reason I haven't for a while said I'm gonna make a comeback. 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."In other words, 'the reason I've not said I'd comeback till now was because I'm extremely busy with all my other commitments. However 2013 summer, I'm free and hence have decided to make time for my old mates in the Australian team. It will be like old times, having some good fun,
"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. 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.Translation of that would be, 'I'm definitely asking Clarke to come out and say that. It's the same scenario. I already said that I feel for him and now even called him a best friend. What more does he need? Plus with 2 Ashes in the radar, let me tell you that I would like to play in both of them. So what are you waiting for Clarke? Go on, ask me nicely.'
"The ball's coming out pretty good and I'm looking forward to fizzing them on Friday. I think I'm bowling as good as I have for a long time - the best I have since I retired from international cricket in 2007. It's because I'm fresh. I don't bowl for 9-10 months of the year and bowl 5000 overs any more. My body's feeling fresh and strong and fit. My mind's fresh from it all and off the field is very happy, I'm content and looking forward to playing.''Simply put, 'IPL teams, I retired last year, but guess what? I've never bowled better! Get your contracts and pens ready. I'm going to play for Australia and whichever IPL team is going to bid the most for me.'
So will Clarke go for Warne? Will the selection panel go for him? Probably not. But nevertheless it's clear that the Australian public want to see Warne back in whites for Australia. According to the 'Daily Telegraph' poll, a resounding 2275 people out of total 3084 voters want Warne back. That's nearly 74%.
In other news, there is a petition doing rounds in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane asking for the comeback for other Australian heroes, namely Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden. Ricky Ponting who played his last test match this week was one of the names missing in the petition. The other being Shaun Tait.