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Thursday, May 6, 1999 Published at 12:08 GMT 13:08 UK

Sport: Cricket

Warne tipped for county cricket

Warne: "I'm optimistic they'll let me come"

Australian leg spinner Shane Warne may be playing cricket in England next year, with Lancashire leading the rush to sign him.

Speaking in London on Wednesday, the bowling great said he thought that the Australian Cricket Board's objections to the move could be overcome.

The ACB has twice blocked Warne's attempts to play county cricket, citing the international side's demanding schedule.

[ image: Glenn McGrath: May also be bound for England]
Glenn McGrath: May also be bound for England
"It's different this time, I'm optimistic they'll let me come," he said.

"I've already spoken to a couple of counties and I'm pretty certain that I'll be spending next summer here."

Following a tour of New Zealand in March 2000, Warne said he will not be required for international duty again until October.

"This is a great chance to fulfil a dream I've had for a long time of playing a season in England," he said.

'Australian mentality'

Reports suggest Warne could secure himself a £150,000 contract with Lancashire, although Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucester and Sussex are also in the running.

Warne added that he planned to coach while he was in England, promising to "breathe a bit of the Australian mentality into these young English players".

"I think it's got to help," he said.

The majority of England's county teams employ Australian players, with the number likely to rise after this summer's World Cup.

Adam Dale, Adam Gilchrist and Glenn McGrath have all been linked with moves to county sides.

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