Cricket - Warne cools comeback talk

Proving he can tease and torment just as well without a ball in hand, Shane Warne has backed away from claims he wants to come out of retirement to help Australia in next year's Ashes series.

PA Sport
Cricket - Warne cools comeback talk
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Shane Warne final game

After waking to headlines declaring he was willing to end his five-year exile from Test cricket and return if asked by skipper and best friend Michael Clarke, former leg-spinner Warne took to Twitter to explain his situation.

"Clarification guys & thankyou for the kind words, but... I was asked 'could' I play not 'would' I play..yes, I could..didn't say I would!" Warne wrote.

"It was a hypothetical question re if Michael Clarke asked me... Read my quotes 'I'm not asking Michael to ask me' Hope I didn't disappoint !"

"Sorry @MClarke23 if you woke up to calls! See you soon buddy...."

However, Warne could not resist tantalising Australian cricket fans just a little more through Twitter.

"Ps although my future wife @ElizabethHurley loves seeing me dressed up in my cricket whites !!!!!!! Xxx," he wrote.

News of Warne's possible return ahead of back-to-back Ashes series next year reverberated around the cricketing world. Former England captain Nasser Hussain was salivating at the prospect of the 43-year-old rolling the arm over again, despite the leg-spinning legend torturing the English throughout his stellar Test career.

Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail: "Warne is the greatest cricketer I ever played against, and he has never been anything less than absolutely box-office. Australia have tried 12 Test spinners since he quit at the end of the 2006-07 Ashes, and you know he'd get stuck in.

"He's fitter than he used to be and he hasn't lost that competitive edge. He wouldn't struggle with the mental side, either. If a mere mortal like me was thinking about a Test return in my 40s, I'd be worried about making a fool of myself. But Warne's always had this huge self-belief. Worry would not be an option. I'd love to see him play for Australia again. Who wouldn't?"

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