The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Captaincy brings out the best in me:Warne

Colombo: Australian leg spinner Shane Warne, handed the captaincy of English County side Hampshire, said on Thursday the job will bring out the best in him.

“I enjoy being captain, I think it brings out the best in me and, hopefully, I can bring out the best in those around me for Victoria and Hampshire,” said Warne, 33, who was recently named to captain his home state of Victoria as well.

Warne, in Colombo to take part in the 12-nation ICC Champions Trophy, will lead the England County for two years starting in 2003, but only when international commitments allow.

With Australia’s crowded schedule over the next year, he may be available for only a few games.

Hampshire could see Warne for a few weeks between Australia’s tour of the West Indies and the home series against Bangladesh in September of next year. Warne, however, said he would play for Hampshire whenever he could. “I’ll be working around the international schedule and whenever it allows me to play for Hampshire, I will.”

Warne had a previous stint with Hampshire in 2000 and said he wanted to renew his ties with the club in order to have a backup when his international career ends.

Warne played down the risk of burnout or injury from the too much cricket he could be playing over the next two years.

“It’s a tough international schedule but I’m as fit as I’ve ever been and I’m a lot smarter now with my cricket training,” he said. “I’ve got no problems with my fingers, knees or my shoulder and everything fine.

Warne is now leaner by 10 kilograms after a tough exercise regime that he followed back home before coming to the Champions Trophy.

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