|Warne has not agreed to play any charity at this stage
Sydney: Disgraced cricketer Shane Warne has told World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Dick Pound to mind his own business about his right to train with the Australian team and play charity matches while under suspension for a drug offence.
Warne’s manager, his brother Jason, said the Australian leg-spinner didn’t have immediate plans to play charity games, quashing speculation the 33-year-old had a game lined up for the Lashings club in England on August 18.
Australia’s leading Test wicket-taker tested positive for a banned diuretic in February and was suspended from cricket for a year.
Warne’s suspension ends on February 10, just ahead of Australia’s scheduled Test series with Sri Lanka.
Cricket Australia initially ruled Warne was ineligible for any form of cricket, but last month an independent arbitrator gave Warne the green light to take part in charity fixtures, forcing the head body to comply.
Pound and WADA chief executive David Howman criticised Cricket Australia’s about-face, describing the situation as a combination of “bizarre” and “anti-ethical” to “allow a cheater to play”.
Warne hit back on Thursday, saying in an ABC radio interview: “As far as I’m concerned it’s got nothing to do with these guys (WADA). I’m an employee of Cricket Australia and both of us have come to a decision.
“I’ve abided by their rules and had an arbitration meeting and they said I can play in charity games, I can train with the team, I can do all those things.”
Under the ruling by the independent arbitrator, Warne can be invited to train as a guest with the Australian team — which also has WADA disapproval.
“The first thing is, Shane has no charity games booked in at the moment — no, he’s not playing for Lashings, simply because he’s unavailable,” Jason Warne said. “Right from the word go, not once has Shane been told he can’t train with the team, as long as he’s invited.
“A couple of people from different countries have rung us about Shane playing in charity games but we haven’t agreed to play in any at this stage.
“There has been a lot of stuff in the media... It’s been a little bit disappointing, people coming out and making their comments and a lot of them ill-informed, but you just sort of go with it I guess.”
Warne hasn’t bowled a ball since making a guest appearance at a net session for young players in England in June.
He has no plans to start bowling again for at least a month in an attempt to time his return so that he is peaking in February.
One of Wisden’s five cricketers of the 20th century, Warne is concentrating on fitness work.
Warne, the second highest wicket-taker in Test history with 491 wickets, will be a commentator for Channel Nine during Australia’s home Test series against Zimbabwe in October.