Friday, November 04, 2011

Shane Warne To Sign for Big Bash League, by Greg Tingle - 4th November 2011


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International - Australian jet setter and living legend of cricket (and celeb poker player) Shane Warne is set to be unmasked as the marquee signing for the Melbourne Stars in the Twenty20 Big Bash League next week.

Only last fortnight, Warnie was in Sydney promoting his 'Hot Wheels Spin King', but not cricket and his new club at Melbourne's Crown Casino have snatched his focus.

KFC chicken or not, this cricket thing is set to grow wings and fly like the wind.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Warne has been temped out of retirement with a lucrative financial deal that includes a spot on the Big Bash League's pay television coverage and a marketing - promotional deal for the 42-year-old's new business enterprise, Club 23, at Melbourne's Crown Casino.

The legendary leg-spinner has not played top line cricket in Australia since the 2006-2007 Ashes flogging over England.

Warne's spot in the new Twenty20 games will provide a much-needed media and exposure lift for Cricket Australia, who will chip in with a marketing bonus in the region of $50k in return for Warne promoting the eight-team league around the Australia.

It's hoped Warnie will be playing in a few games, including in the opening match against Sydney Thunder on December 17.

Warne's manager, James Erskine, tipped he would be fine to take a year off from his commentary duties with Network Nine Australia in order to play hard in the Big Bash League.

It's believed that Warne mate, media and gaming magnate, James Packer, from Crown Limited fame, is looking forward to seeing Warnie play some cricket again.

"He has a non-exclusive arrangement with Channel Nine," Erskine explained.

"It's not a contract, it's a handshake deal, so he decides (what) he wants to do, and if he was going to play full-time it would probably mean taking a year off commentary in Australia."

"Twenty20, I played it for four years in India," Warne said on The Footy Show.

"I love the Twenty20, I think it's great that the Big Bash is coming here to Melbourne ... I'm definitely going to play a few games, which will be good fun and help out some young players.

"I'm not leaning one way or the other [Renegades or Stars] but I'm definitely going to play a few games and have some fun."


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