Warne blow for Hampshire
Hampshire have confirmed that leg-spinner Shane Warne will not return to play for the county in the 2008 domestic season.
They were resigned to losing Warne for the start of the campaign due to his involvement in the Indian Premier League, while he was set to miss the Twenty20 Cup to play in a poker tournament.
But Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove revealed the county have given up hope of trying to fit Warne’s appearances in around his increasing business interests and family life.
Bransgrove explained the decision to end their association with the 38-year-old Australian has been “mutual” and that it had been made amicably and with great sadness on both sides.
The move brings to an end Warne’s first-class career, although he will play for the Jaipur franchise in the IPL, which starts next month.
Bransgrove said: “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.
“His many other business and charitable activities, together with his strong desire to share quality time with his beloved children, makes further extended periods away from home unmanageable at this stage of his life.”
Warne took 276 first-class wickets for Hampshire at an average of 25.59, with best match figures of 7-99 against Middlesex at the Rose Bowl.
He also contributed 2,040 runs, with a highest score of 107 against Kent at Canterbury in 2005.
He said: “This was not an easy decision to make but due to some exciting business opportunities and wanting to spend more time with my children, I had to make this call.
“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.
“To the players, thank you very much for your support and friendship. I was very lucky to have played with such a wonderful group of guys, thanks for the great times.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rod, (team manager) Paul Terry and (director of cricket) Tim Tremlett for their ongoing support and the opportunity to captain the club.
“Good luck to all involved at The Rose Bowl I wish you all the best.”