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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 26 February, 2003, 11:58 GMT

Gilchrist backs Warne return
Adam Gilchrist trains with Shane Warne before the spin-bowler's ban for taking drugs
Gilchrist (left) hopes Warne (right) will be back
Australia vice-captain Adam Gilchrist believes Shane Warne could return to international cricket despite a one-year ban for the use of a prohibited substance.

Warne confirmed on Wednesday that he would not appeal against the ban, imposed for using a diuretic.

"It's like a severe injury, when you have six months out and then six months of rehab. Players have come back from that," said Gilchrist.

"Shane's in good physical shape and if he's got the determination and desire he can maintain it.

"Shane's attitude to playing is aggressive and committed and that's still part of his mind-set. It's just a question of if he wants it."

Gilchrist believes the team will not be fazed by the findings of a report by the Australian Cricket Board's anti-doping tribunal, describing Warne's evidence as "vague, unsatisfactory and inconsistent".

Gilchrist added: "When we found out initially it was such a shock that no-one really stopped to find out what exactly happened.

"But I don't think that finding out more now anyone will feel seriously gutted."

The wicket-keeper paid tribute to the side for its "smooth and successful" transition to life without Warne.

"It hasn't upset us so far. We've adapted well," he said.

"It says a lot for a team if you take someone of the calibre of Shane out and it doesn't miss a beat."

To train for 12 months without playing - that has to be very difficult."
Steve Waugh

Test captain Steve Waugh believes Warne will not find it easy when he is free to make his comeback.

"It is a long time out of sport, particularly for a guy who loves playing at the top level.

"Having 12 months without cricket is going to be very difficult for him. But he loves playing cricket, that is what he is best at, and I hope he comes back."

Warne may target the Test series in India in September 2004 for his return.

Links to more Australia stories


BBC Sport's David Croft
"Warne doesn't want to put his family under any stress"

Australia's wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist
"Shane's got to take responsibility"


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