Spin king Shane Warne returns to action

A man cannot live by texts to Elizabeth Hurley alone. Shane Warne has bowed to the inevitable and returned to his sport, putting his thumbs to more productive use with a cricket ball.

It wasn’t a great secret that Warne was missing being part of the action, even if it’s only been 6 months since he ended his professional cricket career in the IPL. There had been rumours that he would return to Test cricket with Australia in last year’s Ashes series, but Warne chose not to join the sinking Australian ship.

Instead he’s signed up with his hometown club Melbourne Stars for the launch of a new Twenty20 tournament, the Big Bash League. The 8 team competition starts next month, and Warne is bound to be in the spotlight.

At 42, it would be surprising if Warne could immediately recapture the kind of bowling form that made him, for many, the finest spin bowler that world cricket has ever seen. For once though, the fluctuating Warne waistline won’t be an issue. "I'm fitter than I've ever been," he said. "Over the next month or so I'm going to really get into the bowling and doing all those sorts of things with the Melbourne Stars."

After some lucrative contracts with the IPL and regular television commentary work, Warne doesn’t need the money. Instead he’s looking for another sporting challenge, in his homeland. "It's got nothing to do with money," he insisted. "This is something that I'm passionate about. It's something new, and that's what enticed me."

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