Warne set for summer battles with Barmy Army

Shane Warne is expecting a fiery reception from England supporters during this summer's Ashes series.

Shane Warne is expecting a fiery reception from England supporters during this summer's Ashes series.

Australia's greatest leg-spinner, who was criticised earlier in the summer for sledging during a Frizzell County Championship match, is bracing himself after undergoing hair replacement therapy to help "re-grow" his hair.

However, the 35-year-old believes that the boisterous England fans are good for the sport and he enjoys the relationship with the crowd.

Warne, who is the leading wicket-taker in Test cricket, said: "The Barmy Army are an intelligent crowd and I'd be disappointed if they don't have a song ready for me for the start of the series.

"But it's good for cricket, the Barmy Army are great for cricket and add to hype surrounding the series."

Warne is expected to take his 600th wicket in the forthcoming series - he is on 583 and promises "something special" when he reaches the milestone - with Australia overwhelming favourites when play starts on 21 July.

However, he has noted the strides England have made since the previous Ashes series, and has also tipped his Hampshire team-mate Kevin Pietersen to make an impression on the tourists.

Pietersen made a stunning start to his international career last winter in South Africa, but he is yet to make a Test appearance.

He could get the chance to continue his sparkling one-day form in the NatWest series which precedes the first Test.

Warne said: "We're playing some really good cricket but England are, too - they've got some really good players. Some of their players haven't played against Australia before, so we'll see.

"We've played well in our own conditions and in their conditions, so it will be an excellent summer of cricket. It will be a great summer and the one-day series is a great starter for the main meal of the Tests."

Of South Africa-born Pietersen, Warne added: "He's done some wonderful things in one-day cricket in his career and has done really well so far. I'm sure he will play some part against us this summer."

The leg-spinner bowled at Pietersen during a warm-up game for Hampshire against England at the weekend, although Warne did not appear to be bowling with his usual venom.

"I just wanted to bowl a few when I saw KP at the crease," the Australian said.

"You'll have to ask him if it was at full tilt. I wanted a few overs so bowled a few loopy leggies - we'll wait for the serious stuff later in the summer."

Pietersen's attacking style has made him a crowd favourite, with suggestions that he could form a devastating middle-order partnership with Andrew Flintoff.

Warne is wary of Flintoff's deceptive pace as a bowler and believes that the Lancastrian has reached the standard the Australians have set.

"It's hard to fit everyone into an Ashes XI, but Freddie Flintoff would make most teams in the world," Warne said.

"His bowling means you can have extra balance to the team, maybe by adding another spinner or another batsman."

Warne has teamed up with Advanced Hair Studio to solve his hair loss, using laser therapy over the past two months to "re-grow" and strengthen his hair.

The treatment has also been used by rugby player Austin Healey.

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before