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Last Updated: Friday, 12 March, 2004, 09:22 GMT
Warne 'proud' of milestone
Shane Warne
Warne was applauded off the field by his team-mates in Galle
Australia's Shane Warne celebrated a "fairytale" comeback after becoming the first spin bowler in history to take 500 Test wickets.

He took 10 wickets in his first Test since completing a drugs ban to help his side beat Sri Lanka by 197 runs.

"To get my 500th wicket was a bonus. I could not have written the script better for myself," he commented.

"To come out and do what I did today and win a Test match was a very big achievement. I feel very proud."

Warne said: "I wouldn't have been able to get there without the faith of [captain] Ricky Ponting, who got me in straight away and bowled me a lot of overs, and the support of all of the players over the past 12 months.

"This is dedicated to those guys, my friends and my family."

Cricket Australia chairman Bob Merriman hailed Warne's "monumental achievement".

He said: "Test cricket has been played for 127 years and in that time only one other person has taken 500 wickets.

Shane Warne
I don't think I could have bowled much better
Shane Warne

"Shane's ability to dismiss all types of batsmen in a variety of conditions marks him as one of the greatest bowlers in cricket history."

Warne's next goal will be to surpass the Test bowling record of former West Indies paceman Courtney Walsh, who took 519 wickets in 132 matches.

He has two more Tests on the current tour to try and surpass Walsh, but may have to wait until Sri Lanka visit Australia for a return series in July.

"I haven't thought about that, but I suppose that Stuart MacGill and I are going to play a big part in this series if they keep producing wickets like that," Warne added.

"Now I'm fresh and bowling well, and if he continues to bowl well like he has been, we can form a good partnership and cause a lot of dramas for the Sri Lanka batsmen."

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