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England keen to use Warne as spin doctor
by Cricket Archive Staff Reporter


Player:SK Warne, DAG Fletcher, MS Panesar

DateLine: 8th January 2007

 

England coach Duncan Fletcher said Saturday he would like Shane Warne to cross the great cricket divide and work as a spin doctor for Australia's old Ashes enemy. The champion leg-spinner played his 145th and final Test in Australia's ten-wicket victory over England in the fifth Sydney Test Friday to claim an 86-year-old 5-0 Ashes clean sweep. Fletcher, who faces fall-out over England's performance in the series, is keen for Test cricket's leading wicket-taker to impart his skill, knowledge and experience to England spin bowlers. "I'd be happy with him to speak to anyone, there's no doubt about it," Fletcher told reporters in Sydney Saturday. "Someone of that calibre would be very useful for England to use his experience, at any stage during the (northern) summer or at any stage of a player's career. Not only of a young spinner. Imagine the help he could give to a very, very experienced spinner in the side." Although finished with Test cricket, Warne is committed to playing out the remaining two years of his contract with English county Hampshire, providing England potential access to his wealth of cricket knowledge. Fletcher said it would not only be spinners who would benefit from Warne's insight. "Not only a spinner. He's got the capabilities of helping anyone in international cricket on how to play the game," he said. In a sign England had already begun tapping into Warne's thinking, he and opposing spinner Monty Panesar were seen chatting at length after the fifth Ashes Test at the SCG. Of Warne's 708 Test wickets, 195 were against England. Australian Troy Cooley, who was instrumental as bowling coach under Fletcher in England's 2005 Ashes victory, was coaxed back home to help Ricky Ponting's team regain the urn. Cooley was said to be influential in turning around the bowling fortunes of speedster Brett Lee in the Ashes series.

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