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Warne fails to impress in Big Bash.

SHANE WARNE failed to back up Australia captain Michael Clarke's assertion that the leg-spinner is good enough to make an international comeback with a dismal display in the Big Bash series opener.

Clarke added to speculation Warne could return for next year's Ashes series against England after a near six-year absence by claiming he had asked Cricket Australia about it on several occasions.

And, while 43-year-old Warne has refused to discount the idea, he looked well short of international standard in the Melbourne Stars' Big Bash opener against cross-town rivals the Melbourne Renegades.

Although just essentially a 20-over thrash, the Victorian was singled out for special treatment by the Renegades batsmen, conceding 41 runs from just two wicketless overs as his team slumped to an eight-wicket defeat - Aaron Finch starring with an unbeaten 111.

He also dropped a straightforward catching opportunity in the field.

But it is unlikely Clarke will read too much into Warne's figures having backed him so publicly to return to Baggy Green action and improve on his formidable record of 1067 international dismissals.

"Warnie is looking great and he is the fittest I have ever seen him," said Clarke at a fundraising event in Sydney.

"From the day he retired I've been trying to get him back in the team. I've asked him to come out of retirement a number of times, but first he would have to play some games with Victoria."

But there is a process and he wouldn't be able to come out of retirement and walk straight back into the Australian team. He'd have to go and play some state games for Victoria."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 8, 2012
Words:271
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