Former Australia spinner Shane Warne will not play at this summer's Big Bash tournament after announcing his retirement from the Melbourne Stars today, thereby bringing an end to his competitive cricket career.
The 43-year-old, who quit Test cricket in January 2007, is the second-highest Test wicket-taker of all time with 708 in 145 Tests, as well as 293 more in 194 one-day internationals.
Warne helped the Stars to the finals during the first two years of the Big Bash, but will not be seen in action for season three as he instead concentrates on spending time with his family and other interests outside cricket.
"I think the time is right for me to hang up my Big Bash boots - juggling business, family and commentary commitments across two continents is not easy," said Warne, who was inducted into the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame at Lord's during the tea interval on day two of the second Investec Ashes Test between England and Australia, where he was working as a television commentator.
"I've always loved the game but now it's time to observe.
"It's going to be a huge summer for Australian cricket. I'm really looking forward to it and will be closely following the Melbourne Stars."
Stars coach Greg Shipperd paid tribute to Warne and acknowledged the player will be sorely missed.
"It was always a privilege to share a dressing room with Shane," Shipperd said.
"His unique and exceptional skills will remain a symbol of excellence for generations to come.
"During his time at the Stars, Shane shared freely with his team-mates from his vault of strategic and mental understandings; he made us realise what makes a champion tick."
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