Warne on Pietersen, England and Joyce

Shane Warne, writing for The Times, writes interestingly about Kevin Pietersen (who else) – his new best friend – who he’s nicknamed PK. Yeah, exactly! He reckons… Contine reading

Dean Jones on Warne’s sledging

The BBC jump off the fence to agree with Dean Jones’ comments about the Shane Warne / Chris Adams sledging debate – in essence, agreeing that Chris Adams is a soft cricketer. Perhaps we’ll finally see the end of this ridiculous debate.

“I captained Chris Adams at Derbyshire. We beat Australia on the Ashes tour of 1997 but he didn’t like being sledged by the Australians at the best of times.”

The article also remarks how quiet Prior – the “victim” in all this – has been, probably completely unaffected by it all.

Warne and Adams lock horns

Following Chris Adams’ announcement on Monday that Warne had “humilated” some of Sussex’s younger players, Warne has hit back:

It was a really good, hard game of cricket,” added Warne, “and I was surprised and disappointed that Adams has given a one-sided version of what happened. I do not like getting involved in tit for tat, but I am fed up with copping flak about sledging when there are two sides to the story. If Adams has lost respect for me, then I can certainly say that whatever respect I had for him has disappeared, too.

No surprises there, and no surprise that Warne feels a bit cornered. But what’s interesting is Hampshire’s reaction to the whole affair:

We are disappointed that a player of the stature of Chris Adams has made a number of one-sided comments to the media following an excellent, hard fought cricket match between two good sides

Adams has dug himself a rather large hole and it Hampshire’s press release made mention of his comments being one-sided. What a prat. I think the following statement concludes it nicely:

The match umpires [Merv Kitchen and Ian Gould] are regarded as two of the best in the business and, as far as we are aware, they have not seen fit to censure any player who participated in the fixture.

Warne “publicly humiliated younger players”

Shane Warne will go down in cricket history as the greatest spinner the world will ever see. But, surely, his greatest feat has been in the enlivening of the game: he is a brilliant, absorbing entertainer who most cricket fans would pay to watch even standing at 2nd slip, or batting…let alone twirling his arm over. There’s no one like him.

With entertainment comes controversy: he’s been involved in several off-the-field problems with dodgy text messages, and dodgy women, and dodgy drugs and dodgy other things. However, today’s latest “Warne Shocka” involves him on the field, by a very bitter and upset Chris Adams. Adams claims Warne, with great intent, tried to “humiliate” a number of Sussex’s players in the recent (and exciting) county game. This is not good news, of course – if Adams is correct. But I can’t help feeling it’s one failed English batsmen’s cheap shot at one of the greatest players in history.

Sledging is par for the course. Some would say – me included – that the English game could do with a bit of edge to it, a bit of hard-arse play out in the middle. And as Adams admits, Warne was the perfect gentleman off the pitch:

Off the field he was outstanding and the first person to congratulate us and say what a great game it was, but I have lost a lot of respect for him because of the way he behaved in this match.

In his enthralling book, which I read a few months back, Shane mentions a Pura Cup match which had the rarity of having a number of then-playing Australian Test cricketers. (not got the book at hand – perhaps someone can fill in details if they know the players concerned). These Test cricketers had obviously become great mates over a number of years – and yet, the match itself was played harder and with greater intensity than a Test match. I think that sums up today’s storm in a tea-cup, unless Warne did indeed cross the “decency boundary” and went too far (but we’ll never know).

For once, the BBC almost jump off the fence to make a scathing remark. But they didn’t. So I’m interpreting it for them:

Adams, 32, played a handful of games for England in the late 1990s. Warne, 35, has a world record 583 Test wickets and will aim to add to that tally when the Ashes series starts at the end of July.

Precisely: Adams, grow up and grow some testicles. I’m sure Matt Prior, who is a potential ‘keeper for England this summer, will in retrospect be thankful of Warne’s “outburst”: he knows what to expect if he makes it to the Test arena! County cricket is still weak, and harbours weak individuals. Crack on, Warney.

Warne to move to England permanently?

There’s a program on Sky Sports (“Cricket Special”), the first cricket on TV of the summer, and a good interview by Gower on Warne. The usual bullshit about him possibly being over the hill etc. But the interesting thing is the sign that he’s almost certainly upping sticks to live here for good. He has good ties with Hampshire, has bought a house, and Botham revealed that Warne first told him he wants to live here 6 years ago. Which is all great for us Brits, as we’ll see more and more of him playing for us!