The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Scandal a private matter: CA
- South African woman challenges Warne to take a lie-detector test

Melbourne: The head of Australian cricket’s governing body said on Monday that allegations by a South African woman that Shane Warne had inundated her with raunchy telephone messages was a private matter.

Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive officer James Sutherland said in a statement that at this stage the issues raised by the woman’s claims in South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper at the weekend rest between the individuals involved.

“Cricket Australia is aware that international cricketers attract more public and media scrutiny than private individuals,” said Sutherland.

“There are obligations and standards incumbent on players, but there is also a boundary between their public lives and their lives as private citizens.”

The Johannesburg-based mother of three, Helen Cohen Alon, 45, was quoted in the newspaper as saying Warne, the Australian leg spinner, telephoned her up to 40 times after a models’ party.

“Every time he came to South Africa he would contact me,” Cohen Alon told Australia television on Monday.

She has also asked Warne to take a lie detector test.

“I’m prepared to do one (take a lie detector test) and I want Shane Warne to take one, if he’s denying everything.”

Pointing to a brown paper shopping bag, she said: “All the evidence is in the bag. Everything that you want to know is in this bag.”

In a statement released on Sunday, Warne’s brother and promoter Jason said: “We regard the allegations of the South African woman Helen Cohen Alon as a personal issue between Shane, (wife) Simone and the relevant parties.

“This appears to be a blatant attempt by a person attempting to set up someone for personal gain — whether that be monetary or notoriety — and we will consult our legal people in this regard,” the statement added on Sunday.

“We feel to comment on the issue would only further assist her in gaining the result she is conspiring to create.

“Therefore, Shane and anyone connected to him will not be making any further comments on this topic.”

Warne, one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the 20th century, was stripped of the Australia vice-captaincy in 2000 after admitting he had made lewd telephone calls to a British nurse.

The divorced South Africa woman said she met Warne on February 20 last year in a clothing store. “The moment he laid eyes on me, he was interested,” Cohen Alon was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

Warne, the second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket with 491 from 107 matches, toured South Africa with the Australia team in February-March 2002.

He returned for this year’s World Cup but left the tournament in February without playing a game after testing positive for diuretics. He was later banned for 12 months.

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