Don’t ask about comebacks, says Warne ‘the businessman’

Monday, 23 May 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - Shane Warne is ready to move on with the next chapter of his life after calling time on his career as professional cricketer and has asked his fellow Australians not to pester him with questions about a comeback.

The spin-bowling great played his final match in the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the early hours of Saturday morning Australian time and said it was now time to focus on his business career.

“I’m happy and ready to go,” the 41-year-old said in his column in the Sunday Herald Sun newspaper.

“It’s the right time. During the week I found myself with a big smile, feeling content with my life and what the future holds personally and from a businessman’s point of view.

“I am totally ready to say goodbye to the great game of cricket. Please, no more questions about a comeback, even though the ball is still coming out pretty well.”

That final caveat is bound to give hope to some of his compatriots when the Australian test team is struggling, as happened during the Ashes humiliation over the start of this year.

Warne, who retired from international cricket in 2006, said he could not imagine a better way to end his career than with the thumping victory for his Rajasthan Royals over Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai Indians with his actor girlfriend Liz Hurley looking on.

“It seemed fitting that my last match was against the great Sachin Tendulkar in his back yard,” he said. “All week I had been looking forward to resuming battle against the best cricketer I have played with or against.

“After the match he approached me and said, ‘It has been an honour and a privilege to play against you. I wish you all the very best for the future. You are a legend.’ It was a great moment.”

Warne, who took 708 test wickets and was named as one of five Wisden cricketers of the 20th century, said he would miss the game and would like to be remembered as a player who always gave his all.

“I am not exactly sure what my future holds, but I will stay in touch with cricket through my media work, so my opinion -- if you like it -- will still be heard,” he said.

“But from today, I am no longer Shane Warne the playing cricketer. I am Shane Warne the businessman, and I’m happy with that.”