Monty rules out Ashes competition with Warne

Published: Saturday, September 23, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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London: The Ashes rivalry will take a backseat when Monty Panesar comes face to face with Aussie spin legend Shane Warne for the first time this November and the left armer says despite the expectations he would not act ''foolish'' by competing with his childhood icon during the much-anticipated series.

''I've never even met Shane Warne, let alone played against him,'' Monty told the 'Daily Mirror' here.

''But he's a legend, and although I'm part of the England team and playing international cricket, it's still a bit unreal when I meet these big cricketing icons. You see Warne on TV all the time, so just meeting him in person is going to be very exciting for me in itself,'' he added.

Monty said he grew up watching the flamboyant Aussie and described him as one of the reasons behind taking up spin after planning to be a seamer in the early stages of his career.

''I watched him a lot as a kid and he's the reason I took up spin bowling - originally I bowled left-arm fast-medium and I wanted to be like Wasim Akram. What went wrong? Lack of pace - and I couldn't make the ball swing like him, either!'' he said.

''Shane has got the orthodox leg-break, the googly, the flipper, the slider and the top-spinner... I just try to get the ball down the other end, and that's hard enough,'' he added, praising his idol, who will be a key figure in Australia's Ashes campaign.

The left armer ruled out any duel with the Australian and said he could not imagine himself competing with the bowler, who has taken close to 700 Test wickets.

''It would be foolish of me to try and compete with him by trying to bowl the 'wonder ball' - he's the guy who made spin bowling fashionable again in international cricket, he's taken nearly 700 Test wickets and I don't think I could begin to compare myself with him,'' he said.

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