Warne is a die-hard fan of Michael Clarke

Published: Saturday, December 4, 2004, 19:07 [IST]
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Melbourne:Shane Warne has handed over his One-day No. 23 uniform to rising star Michael Clarke, saying he loves the youngster's approach to cricket.

Warne no longer plays One-day cricket and concentrates on the Test format, where he is the leading all-time wicket-taker.

"It's pretty simple. I love the way he plays the game, he entertains the crowd, the crowd likes watching him play," Warne said of Clarke ahead of Sunday's inaugural Chappell-Hadlee Trophy One-day game with New Zealand in Melbourne.

"There's nothing he has to live up to, I don't believe in that stuff, it's just a tradition I wanted to start."

The 35-year-old leg-spinner said since his retirement from the One-day game it was proving physically less demanding to play only for the Test side, plus he could spend more time with his family and turn out more often for Victoria.

Two seasons ago, Warne needed surgery after landing heavily on his shoulder while fielding off his own bowling during a One-day International.

"If people didn't believe me for the last 18 months or two years that I've retired, hopefully they do now," he said on Saturday.

"Of course I'd love to keep playing One-day cricket, but I'm smart enough to realise if I continue to play both forms of the game, then I don't think I can play for another three years of Test cricket, as I'd like to do."

Clarke said he was humbled by Warne's gesture.

"Obviously, it's a privilege and honour to receive that from Warney, he's a fantastic guy and has been a great cricketer for so long," he said.

Australia confirmed speedster Brett Lee would return to international cricket on Sunday after leaving out Simon Katich and Jason Gillespie.

Glenn McGrath will also be rested from game one of the three-match series against the Black Caps.

Lee has been 12th man for the Test team over the last couple of months and said it was fantastic to have the new ball again.

"It's been a bit difficult, but I've had time to get really fit, I've enjoyed the time over in India," Lee said Saturday.

"I haven't had a lot of cricket in two or three months, but it's nice to finally get back in there."

New Zealand omitted batsman Craig McMillan and all-rounders Chris Harris and Andre Adams from their squad.


Australia - Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Hayden, Brad Hogg, Michael Kasprowicz, Brett Lee, Darren Lehmann, Damien Martyn, Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson (Jason Gillespie or Simon Katich 12th man).

New Zealand - Stephen Fleming (captain), Nathan Astle, Mathew Sinclair, Scott Styris, Hamish Marshall, Chris Cairns, Jacob Oram, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Vettori, Kyle Mills, Ian Butler.

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