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Shane Warne

Shane Warne © Getty Images

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove feels Australia’s loss will prove his county’s gain following Shane Warne’s retirement from international cricket.

Australia legend Warne, who has taken 699 Test wickets, announced that he will quit the international game at the end of the current Ashes series.

The 37-year-old, however, intends to continue playing at the south coast club, where he is captain and has two years remaining on his contract.

Bransgrove said: “It is clear that Shane's retirement from the international game is a monumental loss to world cricket.

“At the same time, it is fantastic for Hampshire cricket and our supporters that he has chosen to see out his playing career at the Rose Bowl.

“Shane has been a cornerstone of the restructuring of Hampshire cricket over recent years that has seen the team develop into an attractive and seriously competitive unit.

Rose Bowl

Shane Warne is set to play at the Rose Bowl for two more seasons © Getty Images

“I never doubted his intentions to fulfil his contract with Hampshire and I know that I speak for all Hampshire fans when I congratulate him on his achievements to date and look forward to seeing him back at the Rose Bowl next year.”

Warne joined Hampshire in 2000 and returned in 2004 as captain.

Under his captaincy, Hampshire twice finished runners-up in the County Championship and secured silverware in 2005, winning the C&G Trophy.

Hampshire director of cricket Tim Tremlett said: “Shane Warne is recognised as being one of the greatest cricketer's ever and we are delighted that Shane has announced that he will be returning to Hampshire for a further two seasons.

“We very much look forward to welcoming him back for the start of the 2007 season.”

Warne earlier confirmed he would honour the reamining two years of his contract with Hampshire.

“I have always given 100 per cent in whatever series or match I’ve played. I will continue to play with Hampshire and lead the team the best way I can,” he said.

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