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Warne puts a positive spin on surprise return


The wonders of having a quick leg-spinner with Liz Hurley every now and again are there for all to see as Shane Warne performs the impossible yet again by looking younger yesterday than he did on his first-class debut back in 1990.

The blond bombshell who insists that his chiselled new look is purely down to dietary changes (he infamously survived on pizzas for the majority of his Test career) rather than any surgeon's knife, announced in Australia that he has come out of retirement at the age of 42 to play for the Melbourne Stars in the inaugural Big Bash (Twenty 20) league.

Warne has signed a one-year deal that will see him play competitively in his homeland for the first time in five years. Warne's last appearance on home soil saw him claim his 1,000th international wicket as Australia completed a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Sydney.

The spinner will be a major draw for the competition, which begins next month with eight city-based franchises competing against each other.

Warne admitted he was itching to return in front of his adoring fans at the MCG. "I'm fitter than I have ever been. I had a few offers but the MCG has been my backyard for 20 years," he said.

"There were a few offers about playing a game here or there. And I thought if I'm going to do this, let's do it properly. I thought it was an opportunity where I could actually give something back to the game of cricket.

"It's got nothing to do with money. If it had, I'd still be playing in the IPL. This is something that I'm passionate about. It's something new... and that's what enticed me."

Asked if he might play more than one year, Warne replied: "I'm 42. Let's see how it goes."