Sledging row escalates as Warne hits back at Adams

Published: Thursday, April 28, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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London:Champion leg-spinner Shane Warne has hit back at Chris Adams in the sledging row with full support from his employers.

It may be recalled that in Hampshire's recent County Championship match against Sussex, Adams accused Warne of trying to publicly humiliate the up-and-coming England 'A' wicketkeeper, Matt Prior, and told a Sussex newspaper that he had "lost respect" for the player.

Warne, however, was in no mood to take this slight lying down, and hit back in Wednesday's edition of The Times, saying: "I am sick and tired of being cast as the villain because English captains give one side of the story."

"It was a really good, hard game of cricket," added Warne, "and I was surprised and disappointed that Adams has given a one-sided version of what happened. I do not like getting involved in tit for tat, but I am fed up with copping flak about sledging when there are two sides to the story. If Adams has lost respect for me, then I can certainly say that whatever respect I had for him has disappeared, too."

The incident arose after Prior, who is seen as a dark horse for this summer's Ashes series, collided with Simon Katich in the middle of the pitch. "I wanted to try to get under Prior's skin because of the way he chested Katich on the field," said Warne. "I thought cricket was a non-contact sport. I was sticking up for my mate and letting Prior know what I thought about his behaviour. I think Adams needs to put his own house in order before he goes complaining to the newspapers."

Hampshire County Cricket Club issued a strongly worded statement in defence of Warne on Wednesday afternoon. "We are disappointed that a player of the stature of Chris Adams has made a number of one-sided comments to the media following an excellent, hard fought cricket match between two good sides," read the press release.

"We regard his views as somewhat hypocritical given the way that Chris himself behaved during this match and previous fixtures between Hampshire and Sussex. However, we are not inclined to elaborate on any incident publicly. The match umpires (Merv Kitchen and Ian Gould) are regarded as two of the best in the business and, as far as we are aware, they have not seen fit to censure any player who participated in the fixture."

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