Cricket Australia is turning to the expertise of Shane Warne. No, not for his top notch hair advice or ability to tan no matter the climate, but as a coach for Australia’s Twenty20 side.
Warne will join Darren Lehmann’s staff as a specialist spin coach for Australia’s three Twenty20 matches against South Africa to take place after the Test series beginning in roughly three weeks’ time.
The 44-year-old Warne is being brought in ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup held in Bangladesh in March and is expected to help boost Australia’s low international ranking in the short over form of the game.
“We believe our national teams can really benefit from more specific skill-based coaching as and when it is needed,” Lehmann said of the 8th placed Aussies.
“This will mean that from time to time we will enlist the support of experts in their craft to work with our players and share their experiences.”
Australia are currently ranked eighth in the world and face India, Pakistan and West Indies in the group stage.
“There’s no better person than Shane to help guide the spinners we select in that squad,” Lehmann continued.
“He was a gifted cricketer and remains passionate about spin bowling and seeing our players be the best that they can be. We’re thrilled to have him on board.”
Australia’s domination of England on home soil has continued on from the Ashes sweep to the current ODI series, but with two games still remaining before the visitors’ disastrous summer concludes a number of English journalists have been sent home.
Immigration authorities are on the verge of sending home journos John Etheridge (The Sun), Dean Wilson (The Mirror) and Paul Newman (Daily Mail) for overstaying the 90-day temporary work visas.
Etheridge was a pretty good sport about the whole thing, telling The Guardian “The visas we were given, [sub] class 400 I think, last for 90 days, and that leaves us about 10 days short.”
“In fairness Cricket Australia have been very helpful on our behalf, and have tried to sort something out with the immigration authorities.
“But today we were told finally that all avenues have been exhausted, so myself and Dean have to go home after the fourth ODI, which means we miss the last game in Adelaide and the three Twenty20 games next week. We were hoping we might see England win a game!”
Despite reporting only glum news over the past three months, Etheridge is determined to see out the tour, even appealing to Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
.@TonyAbbottMHR We want to stay long enough to see England win a game!
— John Etheridge (@JohnSunCricket) January 22, 2014
Photo: Michael Dodge, Getty Images.