Warne has no regrets
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter

Ground:Melbourne Cricket Ground, Sydney Cricket Ground
Scorecard:Australia v England
Player:SK Warne, RT Ponting

DateLine: 29th December 2006


Shane Warne was carried off the field on the shoulders of his teammates Thursday after the incomparable star helped Australia pull off another soul-destroying Ashes win over England.


Test cricket's all-time leading wicket-taker claimed two more as England capitulated to an innings and 99 run defeat, handing the Australians a 4-0 series lead heading into next Tuesday's fifth and final Sydney Test.


Warne, who has now taken 706 career wickets, will retire after Sydney - his 145th Test and an emotional match for the 37-year-old Australian superstar, who said he had no regrets after a remarkable career.


Warne said his 5-39 in unhelpful spinning conditions in the first innings on Boxing Day could not have been scripted better as he savoured playing in his last Test on his Melbourne home ground before huge crowds.


"The overriding factor was that we won," he said. "That gave me great satisfaction for three days. To land the ball the way I have through the series and to walk off in Melbourne. It was nice of Andrew Symonds and Matty Hayden to put me on the shoulders. I was trying to get Pigeon (Glenn McGrath) but they said we can't hold two of you, so I jumped down and we walked off together."


McGrath has also announced that his hometown Sydney Test match will be his 124th and last.


Warne said he revelled in going out on an incredible high after a trailblazing career that revolutionised the art of wrist-spin bowling.


"I've got no disappointments from the game whatsoever. I've been very lucky to play in a wonderful era of Australian cricket," he told reporters after the win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. "It was just a great time. It was great to have that satisfaction. Good to share it. It's just been a great summer so far. To bowl well and land a couple of flippers and some wrong'uns today, it was really good. These sort of moments are something to enjoy. It doesn't make me sad. I'm leaving on top of my game. I feel like I'm bowling as good as I have in any stage of my career. Hopefully 5-0 (a series sweep) is a real goal for us now, a whitewash against an excellent cricket side. If I can continue to bowl well and get a few wickets in Sydney, it'll be great."


Skipper Ricky Ponting has joked about trying to talk Warne out of his intention to retire but the master leg-spinner said he feels on top of the world, rather than disconsolate, at ending his fabulous career. "I'm just jumping out of my skin at the moment. I suppose that's why I'm trying different tricks and all those things. I feel very happy and young and fresh."


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