Thatscricket - News - Rain spoils Shane Warne's comeback

Published: Tuesday, February 10, 2004, 19:17 [IST]
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Melbourne:Shane Warne's comeback from a 12-month doping ban was spoiled by rain in Melbourne robbing him of his first opportunity to impress the national selectors before they choose the Test squad this month to tour Sri Lanka.

Warne on Tuesday came into bat for the Victorian second XI at number six, made 11 runs, and later took a good catch, but he did not bowl.

For the remainder of his first day back as a professional cricketer he waited in the team dressing room for a break in the rain.

The crowd at the tiny Junction Oval ground in suburban St Kilda swelled to more than 1000 on day two of the match against the Queensland Academy of Sport, in expectation of Warne bowling his leg-spinners.

But the 34-year-old Test star, whose 12-month doping ban expired at midnight Monday, will have to wait until Wednesday to bowl.

Warne declined to speak on Tuesday and is unlikely to do so until he finally has a bowl.

The media attention for his return was at least as big as his doping case this time last year.The Australian Test squad to play in Sri Lanka is scheduled to be announced on February 20. At least 10 television cameras were at the ground throughout the day. The media met Warne when he arrived at the ground for an early morning yoga class.

His only bowling for the day was a dozen deliveries he sent down in the nets before the start of play.

Cricket officials had arranged for Warne to come into the Victorian team a day later despite this game starting on Monday.

The crowd included Warne's mother Brigitte, who gave him the fluid tablet which led to his ban.

Warne's father Keith, wife Simone, their youngest child Summer and brother/manager Jason were also at the game.

Victoria resumed at 290 for three and a guard followed Warne as he went out to bat to resume his career, with the score 354 for four.

Warne hit a boundary before Steven Magoffin had him caught behind and Victoria declared before lunch at 379 for five.

Warne took a sharp chance at first slip to dismiss opener Ryan Broad off Brad Knowles' first delivery for 17.

But the rain arrived in the early afternoon to stop Queensland's first innings at 87 for one.

Warne's former Australian and Victorian teammate, Paul Reiffel, and fellow umpire Steve Soulsby called the day's play off a couple of minutes before 5:00pm (0600 GMT).

Shane Warne back in contention for Test slot

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