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'Day-nighters will help Test cricket'

cricket Updated: Dec 29, 2008 13:39 IST

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The concept of night Tests may be seen as breaking away from tradition by purists but Australian spin legend Shane Warne feels the innovation can help bring back fans to cricket's longest format, which is struggling for spectators currently.

"I think day-night Tests will definitely help Test cricket. Test cricket is strong in Australia, England, South Africa and India. But we need other countries to support Test cricket and day-night Tests, as I said, will help," Warne said in a live chat with fans organised by 'The Herald Sun' newspaper in Melbourne.

The outspoken former leg-spinner felt the standard of umpiring in international cricket is also dwindling fast and singled out Pakistan's Aleem Dar as the one making too many mistakes.

"To me Aleem Dar makes too many mistakes and needs a break. Umpiring standards are pretty poor," he remarked.

Warne, who once claimed to be happily retired, said he was well aware of the clamour for his return amid the continuing Aussie slump. And although he missed his days in the dressing room, Warne insisted that he was focussed on being a good dad right now.

"Of course I miss playing for Australia. It was nearly 20 years of my life and I enjoy the ups and downs of playing cricket. And I never saw it as a job," Warne said.

"I saw it as a sport and something to be enjoyed so that I can give my best for the country. My job is to be the best father I can possibly be to my children. I especially miss the Boxing day Test match," he added.

All through his career, Warne detested coaches and asserted that it is the captain who should be running the team. He continues to stand by his words but says he might consider the job himself if it comes along.

"I am not big on coaches. I think the captain should run the team. But who knows down the track?" he said.

Asked about the run drought of Matthew Hayden, Warne said neither the embattled opener nor the Aussie team can be written off on the basis of a couple of bad performances.

"I think Matthew Hayden deserves an extended run, and I would stick with him and hopefully a big score is around the corner.

"The team needs support don't write off the Aussies yet," he said.

The flamboyant ex-cricketer inspired a musical which is running to packed houses right now and though he liked how most parts of his controversial life were dealt with, he admitted to cringing at a few liberties taken by the makers.

"I thought, as a whole, the musical was very entertaining and portrayed my mom Bridgette and (ex-wife) Simone in a nice way, but yes there were parts when I cringed," he said.

Asked whether he would consider being on the selection panel, Warne said he is interested but does not have the requisite time to devote to the job.

"It's a tough job being a selector. I would like to be a selector, but I am not sure if I can give it the time it deserves with all my other commitments. And that was one of the reasons why I retired, so that I could spend time with my three children," he explained.