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Tiresome Warne shows why he was never Australian captain

Shane Warne will no doubt be labelled the hero, if not the catalyst, should the Melbourne Stars end up winning the Big Bash League.

Despite the success of the Sydney Sixers in the past 12 months, it’s the Stars who have seemingly received all the exposure since the formation of the BBL. They’ve even recruited Viv Richards as a coaching consultant.

After succumbing to the Perth Scorchers at the WACA in a semi-final last season under the guidance of Cameron White, the Stars look like securing a home semi-final this season under Warne’s leadership. And should they go all the way and in fact win the competition, Warne will undoubtedly receive all the plaudits.

There will be those who will also say that he should have captained Australia as well.

However, the events of last Sunday night — where he clashed with Renegades batsman Marlon Samuels in the Melbourne derby at a packed MCG — left a sour taste in the mouth.

Most Aussie cricket fans adore Warne, but over the years others have cringed at his antics both on and off the playing field.

There is no denying the fact that he is arguably the best leg-spinner of all time; however, even his most ardent supporters would have become tired of his unruly behaviour — from ridiculing Darryl Cullinan to ripping a camera from the grasp of a young boy after he was photographed smoking when he was receiving a six-figure sum promoting Nicorette gum and patches, to taking a banned diuretic on the eve of the 2003 World Cup.

It wouldn’t be that hard to highlight other incidents, but you’ve got to remember that Warne has grown up kids these days. How would you like it if you ended up reading about things your father did in the past in a public forum?

One thing is for certain, we now know why he was never appointed Australian captain.

Back to the MCG on Sunday night. There were signs that Warne was showing signs of pressure as the Stars battled to nullify the Renegades, who brought their A game to the table.

For once, despite his 43 years, Warne couldn’t weave his magic. He was unable to be the match-winner.

The Stars were by no means assured of a semi-final spot prior to the Renegades match and the fact that the Stars’ cross-town rivals won the derby once again may have been too much for Warne to bear.

Warne would hate to end his career as a loser, especially as captain of the Stars in such a big competition, so you could perhaps understand his desperation on Sunday night.

Samuels wasn’t Mr Popularity either last weekend after grabbing at David Hussey’s shirt when the Stars were batting.

The subsequent verbal barrage fired in Samuels’ direction was always going to happen when the Renegades batted, but what prompted Warne to grab at the West Indian’s jumper?

More to the point, why didn’t the umpires take action when Samuels and Hussey clashed in the first innings?

And for Warne to throw the ball at Samuels was ridiculous. Warne says that he was throwing the ball to Stars wicketkeeper Rob Quiney. The only things is that Quiney was wearing green, as worn by Warne, and not red, as worn by Samuels.

Imagine what would have eventuated had the Stars ran out Samuels when his battle with Warne hotted up.

Warne attempted to push the issue to the side when interviewed after the game, but you could say he was stretching the truth when he said he was throwing the ball back to Quiney.

Cricket Australia officials weren’t convinced either, and they were totally justified to fine the “Sheik of Tweak” a cool $4500.

Apart from his stoush with Samuels, Warne’s language left a lot to be desired and he apparently gave it to the umpires.

Samuels, who is now nursing a serious facial injury, will meet with Cricket Australia when he is fit and able, and it’s unlikely he will escape a fine. Unlikely you’ll see Samuels again in the BBL after the treatment he has received this season — remember his debate with Darren Berry in Adelaide.

In defence of Samuels, ask yourself how you would have reacted if you were minding your own business and then suddenly you were struck by the ball thrown by a fieldsman.

You may not have thrown your bat, but you wouldn’t have been happy.

To be fair, there have been numerous skirmishes during the current BBL campaign.

How Daniel Christian and Clint McKay avoided sanction following their spat at the Gabba defies belief.

A fellow cricket fan said to me recently that perhaps Cricket Australia and organisers of the BBL were turning a blind eye to the “niggle” to attract bigger crowds to various venues and more viewers on television.

It was a valid argument, but it’s clear that action had to be taken after what occurred on Sunday night.

The Stars-Renegades game attracted 47,000 the other night — a staggering crowd figure.

Just imagine what the crowd will be if they end up meeting in the final?

Finally, you just felt like reaching for the bucket when Elizabeth Hurley defended her fiance on Twitter.

— David White




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