Sydney: Australian leg spin bowler Sharne Warne on Wednesday announced his retirement from One-day cricket after the end of next month's World Cup in South Africa and Zimbabwe. Warne, 33, made the announcement when he arrived in Sydney with the Australian team for Thursday's first final of the tri-nation series One-day clash against England. Warne is recovering from surgery after dislocating his right bowling shoulder last month. He said he would give up One-day cricket to further his Test career.
Warne said the shoulder injury, suffered in a One-day game December 15, proved to him how easily injury could occur and cut short his days with the Australian Test team. Warne, to play in the World Cup One-day contest before standing down from the national side, admitted he wanted to leave the abbreviated form of the game on his own terms. "It hasn't been a decision, I suppose, that has come lightly. I love playing cricket for Australia, but the Number 1 priority for me is to play Test cricket for as long as I can," Warne said. "I've been thinking about it for a while, but I didn't come to the conclusion until I was carried off on a stretcher in Melbourne. That sort of brought my thinking home about how hard it is on your body in One-day cricket."
Warne said he had the support of One-day captain Ricky Ponting, Australia coach John Buchanan, his teammates and the Australian Cricket Board. "Everyone I've spoken to thinks it's a pretty positive and smart decision - and a pretty gutsy one," he said. Warne is expected to make his international comeback from his shoulder problem in Thursday's first tri-nations series final against England at the Sydney cricket Ground. He has taken 288 wickets from 191 One-day internationals and was man-of-the-match in the 1999 World Cup final won by Australia.
In the Test arena, Warne has 491 wickets from 107 matches at an amazing average of 25.71. Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) chief executive Tim May - himself a former Test spin bowler - said Warne's decision highlighted the danger of burnout facing top players. May said the move raised concerns about the non-stop nature of modern cricket. "Shane will be sorely missed from the Australian One-day cricket side and the international game is the worse for his retirement from this form of the game," May said. "Shane's early retirement from One-day International cricket raises a concern regarding the possible early retirement of the game's leading players due to the non-stop nature of the international cricketing schedule.
"With the prolific scheduling of international matches, player burnout is a career-threatening issue facing all international cricketers." May said the dangers presented by the hectic international cricket schedule had been acknowledged by the International Cricket Council at a captains' meeting in July last year.