Shane Warne has confirmed he will be part of the new Australian coaching structure although only when he has permission from home.
New coach Darren Lehmann had said he welcomed legends like Warne into the dressing room, stating they “are an important part of what we’re trying to create.
Writing in a column for London’s Telegraph, Warne said “It was very nice of Darren and Michael Clarke to say they would like Shane Warne to be involved with the Australian team. I’ve just got to run it by the cook (Warne’s fiancé and former girlfriend of 1990s mad rooter Hugh Grant, Elizabeth Hurley).”
“I’m sure Elizabeth won’t have a problem with it. As long as I give her a few weeks notice, she always lets Shane Warne do lots of cool stuff. Just don’t tell her I called her ‘the cook’. She’ll make me sleep on the couch again.”
Long-term teammates through the 90s and 2000s, Warne recalls Lehmann’s desire to always keep players around in the dressing sheds after play drinking beer.
“I remember, during the late 1990s, when I was captain of Victoria and ‘Boof’ (Lehmann) led South Australia. It was the start of the new age with players quick to get out of the dressing room. Me and ‘Boof’ said ‘Fuck that shit you weak pricks. Let’s suck darts and smash piss!”
“When we walked out to the toss, we said after each day’s play, whichever team fields comes into the other dressing room after play with a shitload of green cans. We would often go home blind at midnight in taxis.”
Warne has been quick to dismiss demands for a mature approach from a national team of underperforming highly-paid, professional prima donnas.
“There will be none of the airy-fairy stuff that is for show like getting fit and all that,” Warne promised. “It is back to old-school preparation with the focus being on fun.”
The former champion pantsman has held a disregard for cricket coaches over the years even telling Indian reporters in Delhi, “Coaching is for 12-year-olds and not international cricketers.”
But he has completed a stunning about-face in recent years. Warne, who captained Melbourne Stars in the 2012/13 Big Bash League, had a coaching staff bursting at the seams, including superfluous personnel such as sports psycho-babble egghead Jeremy Snape and team mentor Viv Richards.
“You can’t have enough helpers these days,” Warne said. “And if Shane Warne needs to be around at practice to have a chat with the boys about how to pick up Pommy slappers or any of that shit, then Shane Warne will do that.”
“I do not need a fancy job title to help out. Shane Warne will do.”
Warne refused to stick the boot into recently ousted Australia coach Mickey Arthur as others have done saying it would be unfair to blame Arthur for Australia’s poor performance. Always a leader, Warne beat everyone else to the punch in January when he called for the replacement of Arthur with former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming.