Warne to comeback with Big Bash franchise Melbourne Stars

Sydney: Australian spin legend Shane Warne on Tuesday announced his comeback to the cricket field, saying that he will play for Melbourne Stars in the inaugural Big Bash League Twenty20 tournament in December.

The 42-year-old legend, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest bowlers in the history of the game, retired from the Test arena in 2007.

Warne said the lure of a new tournament, Big Bash League, and the chance to give something back to Cricket Australia (CA) had prompted him to make a comeback.

Warne pledged to play the entire season for the Melbourne Stars, with his first game to be against Sydney Thunder at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 17.

“I am fitter than I have ever been and over the next sort of month or so I am going to really get into the bowling and doing all those sorts of things with the Melbourne Stars,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

Warne said another reason for his return was that his three children, now aged 14, 12 and 10, would get a better appreciation of what he did for a living.

England all-rounder Luke Wright will join Warne at the newly launched Melbourne Stars cricket club, while former one-day captain Paul Collingwood, Owais Shah and Michael Lumb have also been signed by with the club.

Melbourne Stars coach Greg Shipperd called the recruitment of Warne the ‘icing on the cake’ for the Big Bash League, which runs from December 16 until January 28.

Warne captained Indian Premier League franchise Rajasthan Royals for four seasons till the 2011 edition.