Warne just a phone call away, says Ponting

Published: Friday, June 6, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Bangalore: Australian spin wizard Shane Warne might have firmly expressed his unwillingness to come out of retirement to fill in Australia's spin void, but skipper Ricky Ponting believes his old teammate is just a phone call away from wearing the baggy green again.

Ponting believes it would take only a telephone call for him to convince Warne to make a comeback.

"I am sure if I rang him (Warne) and said 'I would like you to come back in South Africa and India', he'd probably put his hand up," Ponting was quoted as saying on Thursday in The Australian .

"Warnie made it pretty clear that if there was absolutely no-one else around then he might consider it.

Ponting however admitted that he is yet to give a thought on Warne's return.

"I have not entertained the idea of asking Shane to come out of retirement. He's probably hoping I have, but I haven't just yet."

Warne, 38, who retired from international cricket in January 2007 with a then world record 708 Test wickets, last month raised the prospect of a return for Ashes 2009 series against England if MacGill was injured.

But he said Wednesday those comments did not apply to the current situation.

"I actually said I was happily retired and if Stuart MacGill broke his leg -- which he hasn't, he's retired -- and there was no other spinner in Australia and if Ricky (Ponting) asked me, I'd consider it," Warne said.

"If that's coming back out of retirement, I'm not sure. I don't think it is."

MacGill called it quits on his 44-Test career on Sunday midway through the second Test against the West Indies in Antigua after admitting that at 37 he was no longer up to the rigours of international cricket.

The veteran, who spent much of his playing career in Warne's shadow, only made the Australian tour of the Caribbean after overcoming serious knee and wrist injuries.

Australian selectors now have to decide who will be the team's first-choice spinner for Australia's four-Test tour of India in October following the retirements of MacGill and Brad Hogg.


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