Warne still wants to be captain

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The Independent Online

Shane Warne still harbours hopes of captaining Australia despite being stripped of the vice-captaincy last week.

Shane Warne still harbours hopes of captaining Australia despite being stripped of the vice-captaincy last week.

Warne returned home from his stint with Hampshire promising to accept the Australian Cricket Board's decision. Australia's all-time leading Test wicket-taker stressed he felt no bitterness toward the new vice-captain, Adam Gilchrist, and pledged his loyalty to the captain, Steve Waugh, and to Gilchrist.

However, he will not give up his ambition to one day become captain of Australia one day, despite the black marks against his name for off-the-field incidents that finally brought about his demotion.

Warne said: "The selectors will make their recommendation whenever it may be, whether it's two or three years down the track. [The ACB chairman] Denis Rogers did say the door wasn't closed, we'll have to wait and see."

The leg-spinner said he was still bemused by the latest controversy, which cost him the vice-captaincy. His "dirty" phone calls to the answering machine of a woman he met in an English nightclub were reproduced in a tabloid newspaper.

Warne said: "Part of being an international cricketer these days, which is probably a little bit unfortunate, is everything you do [is scrutinised]. I suppose the precedent has been set now."

But Warne said his record of commitment to the national team was faultless and would continue. "Adam Gilchrist and Steve Waugh have my full support, which whoever has been leading the side always has had," he said. "We're team-mates, I've got no hard feelings against Gilly whatsoever and I would be disappointed if anyone said that at all. The people who do know me know what I'm all about and know how I play the game."

Warne, who has been in good form for Hampshire, said he was looking forward to resuming his international career next week, when Waugh and Gilchrist lead Australia in the one-day series against South Africa. He said: "I'm returning home a little bit disappointed at losing the vice-captaincy. I've had a lot of disappointments in my life, but by the same token I've had a lot of great things happen to my life. It's part of life, isn't it? Copping it on the chin and getting on with it."

A newspaper poll in Warne's home city of Melbourne involving more than 2,000 callers found almost 70 per cent believed Warne deserved to lose the vice-captaincy.

Warne, 30, likened his life to a soap opera. "At times it has seemed unreal, and this is just another episode."