Warne visits MCG to extend moral support to teammates
Published: Friday, March 7, 2003, 0:57 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Victoria coach wants Warne to practice, ACB to decide
Melbourne: Disgraced Shane Warne made an appearance at Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Thursday giving his Victorian teammates moral support in their vital Sheffield Shield match against Western Australia. The 33-year-old Test leg spinner was banned for 12 months on February 22 by an Australian Cricket Board (ACB) anti-doping panel for taking a prohibited diuretic drug. Warne, who was the Victorian captain before his suspension, came out of the dressing room late on Thursday and sat on the team bench just inside the roped arena. Victorian coach David Hookes said he was keen for Warne to visit the team during the match. ACB chief executive James Sutherland said the Board had still to decide on the issue of what Warne was allowed to do during his drugs suspension. "There's a process we need to go through in making an assessment - Shane's committed a serious offence under (our) anti-doping policy," Sutherland said on Thursday. "We need to balance that with the fact that Shane Warne is one of Australia's greatest-ever cricketers. "He becomes available again in a little less than 12 months' time - we want him fit and in form and we really need to piece together all the issues and work through a process." The ACB's cricket operations manager Michael Brown met on Wednesday with Hookes and fellow state officials Shaun Graf and Ken Jacobs on the Warne matter.