Thursday 21 December 2006 

Warne Confirms Commitment To Hampshire

Hampshire Cricket is pleased to confirm that Shane Warne will be returning to The Rose Bowl next season. The cricketing legend held a press conference in Melbourne today to announce his retirement from International cricket.

The 37-year-old spin bowler also revealed he would have potentially left the international arena at the end of last summer’s Ashes series had Australia retained the urn in England.

“I probably would have retired at the end of the 2005 Ashes series if we had won, but it was not to be.

For me it was a mission to try to get back that urn and today I sit here a very happy man, getting that urn back, and I’m going to announce my retirement from international cricket and domestic cricket with Victoria and St Kilda as well.

It’s been unbelievable. My journey and ride in international cricket has been phenomenal, I don’t think I could have written my script any better.”

Warne is only one wicket away from making history by becoming the first bowler in Test history to take 700 wickets.

A record he will surely achieve on home turf in the fourth Ashes Test at Melbourne Cricket Club, starting 26th December.

Warne went on to confirm he looked forward to his return to Hampshire next season to continue his professional career. Warne has two years of a four year contract to run which will see him continuing to play first class cricket at The Rose Bowl to 2008.

“I have always given 100% in whatever series or match I’ve played. I will continue to play with Hampshire and lead the team the best way I can.”

Warne first joined Hampshire in 2000 and returned in 2004 as captain. Under his inspirational captaincy Hampshire have been runners up twice in the County Championship and secured silverware in 2005 winning the C&G Trophy.

Chairman of Rose Bowl plc, Rod Bransgrove is staying in Australia, and has been in constant contact with Shane ahead of his announcement today.

Rod Bransgrove made the following statement:

“It is clear that Shane’s retirement from the international game is a monumental loss to World Cricket. At the same time, it is fantastic for Hampshire Cricket and our supporters that he has chosen to see out his playing career at The Rose Bowl. Shane has been a cornerstone of the restructuring of Hampshire Cricket over recent years that has seen the team develop into an attractive and seriously competitive unit. I never doubted his intentions to fulfill his contract with Hampshire and I know that I speak for all Hampshire fans when I congratulate him on his achievements to date and look forward to seeing him back at The Rose Bowl next year.”

Director of Cricket, Tim Tremlett commented on the confirmation of Shane’s return:

"Shane Warne is recognised as being one of the greatest cricketer's ever and we are delighted that Shane has announced that he will be returning to Hampshire for a further 2 seasons. We very much look forward to welcoming him back for the start of the 2007 season"