Warne looks to play a club game before World Cup

Published: Sunday, January 5, 2003, 17:42 [IST]
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Sydney: Shane Warne is looking to play before the Australian team leaves for next month's World Cup in South Africa.

Six hours of daily rehabilitation work for the last three weeks have paid off for the champion leg spinner, Warne said at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday. His bowling arm is no longer in a sling and his World Cup prospects are no longer in doubt. Warne said he has come on so well in his recovery program from a dislocated right bowling shoulder that he expects to be on the field again by the end of the month.

He might even play an international triangular series One-day game for Australia. The series resumes on January 9 and finishes with the best-of-three match finals on January 27. "It all depends on how it progresses in the next week," Warne said at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Sunday. "If the next week goes okay, if it goes as well as last week, then I'll definitely play a game before we go to the World Cup.

"I don't know whether it will be for Victoria or in club cricket or for Australia or whatever. I'd have to play for Victoria first or club cricket to get some confidence first before playing in an international." Warne, man-of-the-match in Australia's victory over Pakistan in the last World Cup final, has been working on his shoulder with team physiotherapist Errol Alcott and fitness coach Jock Campbell since the dislocation at the in Melbourne on December 15.

Warne is so vital to Australia's World Cup title defence that coach John Buchanan has indicated he will be given until halfway through the two-month tournament to recover, if needs be. "I've done the work, so I'm glad I've improved," said Warne. "I've worked very hard for six hours a day - two hours of fitness with Jock and four hours with Alcott. "I've been putting in so it's good to see some progress. It's all going well, really well. Hopefully, everything will be sweet." Australia's first match at the World Cup is against Pakistan on February 11 in Johannesburg.

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