Posted by: nestaquin | March 30, 2008

Money Talks Warne Walks

Warne In what is probably a augury tale in regards to English County cricket, Shane Warne has opted out on the final year of his not so insignificant contract with Hampshire for business and personal reasons.

However, Shane will still be playing cricket for the Jaipur based Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League that begins in around three weeks time.

Warne has been instrumental in recruiting his Hampshire team-mates Dimi Mascarenhas and Shane Watson to Jaipur and I can only imagine that Hampshire chairman Rod Brangrove is less than impressed with Warne’s actions despite his diplomatic public utterings.

The rupee-laden Indian T20 tournaments, both official and unsanctioned, are affecting cricket at the top levels in a way that we haven’t seen since the 1970’s with World Series Cricket and the 1980’s with the morally questionable rebel tours to the then Apartheid dominated South Africa.

In the last few weeks we have seen New Zealand and South Africa field less than their best teams in Test matches and it would seem that only the richest cricketing nations will be able to prevent their best players from falling to the temptation of easy money on the sub-continent.

Cricket Australia, well aware of the long-term damage that rebel organisations can cause to the game, have so far been willing to accommodate their best players but a few fringe players have opted out of contracts to take a full-time place in India.

Jason Gillespie while still contracted to the national board retired from first-class cricket and is now preparing to play in India. Brad Hogg likewise. There is a suspicion that Adam Gilchrist’s decision to retire was made all the easier by the truckloads of cash he will receive from the IPL.

There are rumblings in England that there could soon be a player revolt at many of their best players missing out on the gold rush and if that happens, and here at 99.94 we hope it does not, then only Australia and India will be relatively unaffected by the new league.

Although I am anticipating the IPL with some enthusiasm I’m beginning to see the dangers it holds for the rest of the cricketing landscape. I can see a time in the not so distant future where only two or three nations regularly compete with their best eleven.

And that, however you look at it, cannot be good for the game of cricket.


  1. Bit of a poor show from Warne. He said he would honour his contract and he could certainly have done so, in spirit if not by the letter after the IPL concludes.

    The game needs leadership now – despite everything, that’s usually been there when required.

  2. aww… you can take the boy out of Melbourne, but you cant take Melbourne out of the boy. Simone could have told Hampshire that.. .pity no one asked. The only long term attention span Shane ever has had has been the Ashes, and nothing else whatsoever, apart from his kids.. I think it’s harsh to judge him on ordinary standards, genius is often wierd and marches to a different drum.

    Frankly, it was up to Hampshire to provide the interesting events that would have intrigued him. it didn’t, see you later. .. Jaipur take note.

  3. The truth is Our Shane would prefer to wager 100K in Las Vegas than play cricket in England. He said it himself.

    I don’t think the T20 caper will hold his imagination for long but it does give him the opportunity to captain/coach and pay for his entry into the World Championship of Poker with plenty to spare.

    Shane’s always been a bold cricketing trendsetter, I wonder how many others will renig on county contracts next year? Will some Englishmen out of Ashes contention do so?

  4. I respect and understand Warne’s decision, but he has a lifetime to play poker and four months to complete the obligation that he signed. He ought to have done that – people bought Hampshire memberships on that basis.

    The IPL needs a slot in the calendar. The one it has isn’t bad. Few players cover the whole domestic season and if there’s a few regulars absent early season, that’s a chance for others.

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