Warne~~s unapt performance costed him captaincy

Published: Friday, October 19, 2007, 3:35 [IST]
Share this on your social network:
   Facebook Twitter Google+    Comments Mail

Sydney: The ''repeated allegations of inappropriate behaviour'' that surrounded Australian bowling legend Shane Warne, was the reason behind not giving him the opportunity to captain Australian cricket team, reveals the officially sanctioned history of Cricket Australia.

The book named ''Inside Story: Unlocking Australian Cricket's Archives'', by Gideon Haigh and David Frith, is a 280,000-word account of how all the big issues have unfolded behind closed doors, of Cricket Australia (CA), for more than a century.

There had always been top-level misgivings about Warne's behaviour, writes Haigh, who has had unprecedented access to minute books and other official documents as reported by ''The Daily Telegraph''.

They came to a head in August 2000 when Warne was replaced as vice-captain by Steve Waugh, with Adam Gilchrist inheriting the job.

The minutes of the board meeting listed seven crisply-expressed reasons for the rejection of Warne's appointment for the top post.

The points included that even though ''he was given opportunities, he showed he can't take them, ''his history of inappropriate behaviour and reckless conduct.'' However, his ability to maintain public confidence was one reason ''that suggested Warne had not disqualified himself altogether.'' But, he never did get the Australian captaincy on a permanent basis.

One of the incident refered in the points was when the ''Daily Mirror'', ran a lurid story of Warne propositioning a nurse in a nightclub and then harassing her with explicit phone messages.

CA's then chief executive Malcolm Speed had told Warne of the board's bafflement at the "repeated allegations of inappropriate behaviour" that surrounded him.

By this time, the book says, Warne had serious detractors at board level, including articulate Queensland lawyer Damien Mullins, who has since left the organisation.

Mullins said, "You can have different views as to his personal behaviour or about its dimensions or its implications. But my view about his qualifications for assuming high office has been consistent all the way through.'' ''To put it in simple terms, I knew if he was put in a position of authority, sooner or later he would always let you down," he added.

Warne's incapacity for accepting responsibility became proverbial, the book says.

Speed let him off after stump microphones overheard him calling Zimbabwe's Stuart Carlisle a ''f...ing arsey c...'' in a CUB Series match in Sydney on January 28, 2001, but tiredly reported, ''As usual Shane has difficulty accepting that it is his fault - the stump microphones should not have been turned on.'' Later that year, on the recommendation of chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns, Warne was permitted to briefly resume the captaincy in Gilchrist's absence.

But Mullins was implacably opposed and requested that his disagreement be minuted.

ACB chairman Denis Rogers and WA delegate Bob Paulsen also disagreed with the appointment.

Another former chairman, Victorian Bob Merriman, is described as a Warne apologist, ''who felt a mixture of delight and dismay about his fellow Victorian.'' Merriman said, ''I've always felt there should be a limit on any sentence. That's why I supported him. I've had a lot of issues with Shane but I've always had a lot of good times with him. I enjoy talking to him; he's just beaut.

''We gave him another go. I thought he deserved it. Then, of course, he went and got in more trouble. Just to show he's nothing if not consistent.'' The book says Warne was a law unto himself and there were signs that his truculence was contagious in the Australian team.

Despite the revelations in the book, the now-retired Test wicket world record-holder remains in demand.

CA directors are meeting today to decide, among other things, if there is a suitable coaching or promotional job they can offer Warne with a view to using his expertise in spin bowling to unearth future exponents of the art.


Write Comments