Warne called in for chat on ‘muppet’ rant

CRICKET Australia boss James Sutherland has invited Shane Warne to discuss his grievances in person and expressed complete faith in former Wallaby and team performance chief Pat Howard.

Howard, as the man responsible for the contentious selection and management systems in Australian cricket, bore the brunt of Warne’s latest tirade on Twitter about the nation’s team performance staff, whom he described as ”muppets”.

CA chief executive James Sutherland, in Canberra for the Prime Minister’s XI match against the touring West Indies, told Fairfax Media he had exchanged text messages with Warne but he was busy with poker commitments at the moment.

”From where I sit the team performance area is working very well from Pat Howard down and obviously we have got a team in transition. There is a detailed and complex plan in place to try to get the Australian team back on top as soon as possible,” Sutherland said.

”They’re working to a plan that came out of the [Argus review] … At times we need to remind ourselves about that detailed review and the ambitions that were set within that and no one, least of all the people who sat on that panel, expected things to turn around overnight. And we’ve lost a couple of very senior players in the meantime.”

Sutherland said it was not ideal that one of Australia’s greatest cricketers tells the world the nation’s cricket was becoming a joke. Warne has promised a more detailed account of his frustrations with Australian cricket on his website.

”It’s not ideal but Shane is entitled to express his view. Hopefully at some stage we will have a chance to sit down with him and understand a bit more what is behind that. We’ve always had a good relationship with Shane and we know he genuinely cares about Australian cricket.

”I have exchanged messages with him today, just that we should catch up some time. That may or may not happen, that is up to him, but I value his opinion and I’m interested in his views. He will be listened to.”

Warne has been in dispute with CA since the ignominious end of his stint in the Big Bash League.

On Twitter, Warne said CA had to look beyond the rugby community and get current cricket people involved in the game at administrative level.

Warne, who is a close mate of Australia’s Test and one-day captain Michael Clarke, said on Monday night that it was ridiculous to deprive the Aussie sporting public of seeing the star batsman in action during some of the one-day games against Sri Lanka earlier this month.

”I think CA really need to look at the people who are making decisions on all facets of cricket in Australia, we r [sic] seriously becoming a joke!” Warne said.

”Absolute rubbish re selections,rotations,resting & farcical decisions on matches, joke.. Dudding the public & to many excuses.. Wake up CA.

“Can CA please put current cricket people in charge to run the game,select teams, not ex rugby or any other sports people plse, seriously

”We have the best batsmen / captain in the world in MClarke23 [Michael Clarke] – He needs current cricket people to help him out not muppets.”

Sutherland said Warne’s rant did not reflect Clarke’s views.

”I can assure you I talk to and deal with Michael Clarke a lot and I have never heard anything other than positive or enthusiastic support for the role Pat is playing.

”I am very, very comfortable with how the whole team performance team is functioning and the role Pat Howard is playing in leading that. Pat is the first to admit he is not a cricket expert, but he is an expert in high performance.”

On Tuesday, Warne added: ”We need cricket people running the team & who understand cricket & what’s required at the top level, not muppets!” He insisted he did not describe anyone in particular as a ”muppet”.

”Australian cricket is in disarray & in my opinion people are hoping Australian cricket will turn around lack of a plan & a cricket strategy [sic].

”I have not spoken to anyone I suggest for these roles, it’s just my opinion as I think all of us who love Australian cricket have had enough.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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