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Page last updated at 16:33 GMT, Thursday, 27 March 2008

Warne rules out Hampshire return

Shane Warne
Warne took 276 first class wickets for Hampshire

Spin legend Shane Warne will not return to Hampshire and has retired from first-class cricket.

Warne, 38, would have missed the start of the new season because of other commitments, including a poker event.

But he has opted out of returning altogether after committing himself to the new Indian Premier League.

"This was not an easy decision to make," said the Australian. "But due to some exciting business opportunities, I had to make this call."

Warne also said he wants to spend more time with his family.

He continued: "My eight years involved with Hampshire have been a wonderful experience, memories that will last with me forever and likewise the friendships that have been formed at the club.

"Unfortunately, I am retiring from all first-class cricket but will participate in the IPL with the Jaipur franchise as captain and coach.

"Good luck to all involved at the Rose Bowl. I wish you all the best."

He has been fantastic for the club with his incredible enthusiasm, drive and skill as captain

Hampshire team manager
Paul Terry

Dimitri Mascarenhas has taken over the captaincy from Warne, although the 30-year-old will miss the start of the season as he plays with Warne for Jaipur in the IPL.

"It is a huge honour to be made captain of such a prestigious club, following in the footsteps of the likes of Colin Ingleby-Mackenzie, Mark Nicholas and the great Shane Warne," said Mascarenhas.

"I hope to bring great success to the Club and Hampshire supporters."

Warne made his debut for Hampshire in 2000 and was appointed club captain in 2004.

He took 276 first class wickets for the club at an average of 25.59 and in 2006 he claimed 7 for 99 against Middlesex at The Rose Bowl.

The Australian is regarded as one of the finest leg spin bowlers in the history of cricket and took 708 Test wickets for his country.

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove paid a warm tribute to the star.


"I know this will be a major disappointment to many fans of both Hampshire and Shane but, after much discussion and soul-searching, it has become clear to both of us that Shane can no longer make the commitment required to continue to lead Hampshire," he said.

"After the commitment and loyalty he has shown to this club over the past few years, I can only wish him all the success and happiness he deserves."

Team manager Paul Terry added: "He has been fantastic for the club with his incredible enthusiasm, drive and skill as captain.

"He will be missed, but certainly never forgotten, and I personally thank him for the experience and wish him fantastic success in all his future endeavours."

see also
Warne not available until August
15 Feb 08 |  Hampshire
Hampshire seeking cover for Warne
01 Feb 08 |  Hampshire
Warne to miss games to play poker
16 Jan 08 |  Hampshire
Warne to coach Australia spinners
26 Dec 07 |  Australia

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