sport

Warne flops in Big Bash opener

Shane Warne failed to live up to his hype with a dismal display in the Big Bash series opener on Friday in Melbourne.

Michael Clarke claimed recently that the leg-spinner was good enough to make an international comeback, with the Australia captain suggesting Warne could return for next year's Ashes series against England after a near six-year absence following claims 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.

"Well, that didn't really go to plan, sorry @StarsBBL fans," Warne tweeted afterwards.

"Well played Renegades & @AaronFinch5. We will bounce back & so will I."

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 there is a process that comes with coming out of retirement 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.

"I've had the conversation with the Cricket Australia CEO a number of times over the past five years and the plan hasn't changed.

"I think he would be unbelievable if he decided to come out and play. And what an amazing mentor he would be for the team."