Ponting says Warne only a telephone call away

June 5th, 2008 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, June 5 (IANS) Shane Warne might have categorically denied any chance of coming out of retirement to fill in Australia’s spin void but skipper Ricky Ponting believes his old mate is just a phone call away from wearing the baggy green again. Ponting said it would only take a telephone call to convince Australia’s leading wicket-taker to make a Test comeback and rock the cricketing world.

“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 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 adds 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 after his inspired performance as the captain of winners Rajasthan Royals in DLF Indian Premier League (IPL), gave indications of a potential comeback, initially insisting he would consider a return if Stuart MacGill was injured.

But after MacGill’s retirement Wednesday, Warne now claims he is not nursing any comeback plans.

The issue is unlikely to go away as Australia conceded for the first time that its Test attack has “come back to the pack” after drawing the second Test against West Indies.

And Australia’s inclination for a wrist spinner still remains strong with Ponting calling on selectors to play Beau Casson in the third Test in Barbados next week.

This would give the left-arm spinner an opportunity to experience international cricket before Australia’s next major Test assignment in India.

“The time’s going to come somewhere, next week might be as good as time as any,” Ponting said. “The next Test matches we play will be in India, we probably don’t want debutant spinners playing over there. But we’ll get down to Barbados and assess our options,” Ponting said.

Australia would welcome any kind of contribution from Casson in the third Test, given MacGill’s limited contribution in the opening Tests in Jamaica and Antigua.

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