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Botham tried to coax me back, says Warne

Former England captain Ian Botham tried to talk Shane Warne out of retirement so that he could be a part of the 2009 Ashes series in England.

india Updated: Dec 23, 2006 01:00 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Former England captain Ian Botham had tried to talk Shane Warne out of retirement so that he could be a part of the 2009 Ashes series to be played in England.

Warne, who will quit international cricket after the final Test against England following Australia's Ashes-winning victory in Perth, on Friday said Botham told him that people would like to see him play again in 2009.

"A few people tried to talk me out of it. Ian Botham was one. He told me I'm still at the top of my game, that I'm the greatest cricketer that ever lived and that people in England would love to see me play in the Ashes series in 2009," Warne wrote in his column in The Times.

Warne said he would have definitely played in 2009 Ashes if Australia had lost the series again.

"I'm happy. It's good to be leaving Australian cricket in such a healthy state... Had we not won the Ashes this time round, I can safely say I would not be retiring," he said.

"I would have played on until 2009 and gone to England that year to try to get the urn back."

The 37-year-old spinner said Australian captain Ricky Ponting and former skipper Ian Chappell, however, respected his decision.

"Ricky Ponting (Australia captain), whom I told after we'd won in Perth, was a bit shocked but said he respected my decision. I had actually had a chat with him about it before the Brisbane Test so he already had an inkling about my intentions.

"I also shared a beer with Ian Chappell (former Australia captain), whose opinion I greatly respect. He said it was better to be asked 'why are you' rather than 'why don't you'," the spin wizard said.

First Published: Dec 22, 2006 20:43 IST