Cricket: Warne still doubtful

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The Independent Online
AUSTRALIAN LEG spinner Shane Warne, the scourge of England's batsmen, is in danger of missing the first Ashes Test in Brisbane next month after postponing his planned return after shoulder surgery.

Warne has been left out of the Victorian state team's Sheffield Shield match against Tasmania, the game which he had targeted for a return, which starts on Wednesday. He had surgery in May and, while there were early scares that he might miss up to two years, he soon targeted this week's game as his return. Victoria have another Shield match scheduled before the first Test on 20 November. It remains possible for Warne to recover in time for the first of the five Tests, but no-one is prepared to risk further damage to the match-winning spinner.

Victorian spokesman Shaun Graf said Warne, the state captain, had wanted to be considered for a place.

"He was keen to play but from a bowling point of view he has not done much," Graf said. "He needs to get in the nets and do a bit of bowling and we'll see how he is from there. We'll need to get a medical report to give him the all-clear."

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