Soccer option for Warne
Sydney: Shane Warne got an offer to switch loyalties to the Australian Football League during his one-year ban from cricket with the St Kilda Club offering the disgraced player a job as an advisor.
Coach Grant Thomas’ offer to Warne, a former St Kilda reserves player and lifetime supporter of the club, follows Warne’s 12-month ban after testing positive for a banned diurectic. The Saints’ coach said the club would not be in a position to offer Warne “truckloads of money” but was desperate to have him on board at the club in an official capacity.
“What would the leadership group like to do, would they like to be able to walk in every Monday at 11 o’clock to have their meeting and see a guy of Shane Warne’s calibre at the end of the table — I think so,” Thomas told AFL’s website.
“They (the players) would be able to have a coffee with him every now and again and chat about responsibility and about not tolerating mediocrity and enforcing that and all that sort of stuff. I think that is immeasurable,” Thomas said.
Meanwhile, Warne won’t be making a return to the World Cup via a television commentary team, Australia’s Nine Network said Monday. A Nine spokesman said no decision had been made about Warne’s future at the network in the wake of his ban.
An honour for Paul
Durban: Paul Collingwood’s burgeoning reputation as England’s man for a crisis was given further credence on Sunday when he was compared to Graham Thorpe by his captain Nasser Hussain.
Hussain delivered the verdict after Collingwood’s unbeaten 66 propelled England to a match-winning total against Pakistan, which left the side needing to beat India on Wednesday to reach the World Cup’s Super Six stage.
Unbeknown to Hussain, his praise had special significance for Collingwood who has secretly tried to model himself on Thorpe.
“Graham Thorpe has been one of the players that I’ve looked up to and when I first went on tour with England to Zimbabwe I wanted to learn to think like him,” Collingwood said.
“I watched the way he worked the ball around and found the gaps and it's something I try to do.”
On moral grounds
Durban: The South African Cricketers Association (Saca) will seek legal opinion on whether the United Cricket Board for South Africa (UCBSA) can ban Natal wicketkeeper Errol Stewart for refusing to travel to Zimbabwe on moral grounds.
This incident comes in the wake of England boycotting their World Cup tie against Zimbabwe on similar grounds.
Saca spokesman Tony Irish said they would not allow Stewart to be used as a “political football”.
Stewart recently declined to travel to Zimbabwe after being picked for the South African A team.
He said as a lawyer, his conscience would not allow him to travel to a country that violates human rights.
“If it emerges that the UCBSA has instructed the selectors not to consider me again because of my moral stance on Zimbabwe, I would consider taking my case to the constitutional court”, said Stewart.
“This kind of action could be interpreted as a denial of my freedom of speech, which is guaranteed by our constitution.”
Under clergy fire
Bulawayo: World champions Australia came under fire from a leading clergyman here Monday for agreeing to play their World Cup match against Zimbabwe.
Catholic archbishop Pius Ncube accused the Aussies of being unsympathetic to the plight of Zimbabweans. “It must be realised that while this cricket match is being played, there is so much mismanagement of affairs and tremendous suffering in Zimbabwe,” said Ncube.
“In Zimbabwe, we are suffering. They (the Australians) are not suffering, so perhaps this doesn’t affect them. “Politics is about life, just as cricket is,” Ncube said.
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