Cricket Australia insist Shane Warne’s credibility as the marquee man of the Big Bash League is still intact despite handing the spin king another hefty fine for breaching its code of behaviour.
The under-fire veteran’s controversial summer continued yesterday when Warne was sanctioned for his ambitious bid to dodge a slow over rate suspension.
In a cunning ploy, Warne stood down from the captaincy during the Stars’ Big Bash League semi-final loss to Perth Scorchers last week, with all-rounder James Faulkner listed on the team sheet as skipper and tossing the coin with Perth Scorchers captain Simon Katich.
As Melbourne Stars captain, Warne had previously been issued with one strike for a slow over rate violation, with a second strike this season resulting in an automatic one-match suspension and the possibility he may have been unavailable for the final if the Stars had made it.
CA yesterday took action, slapping Warne with a fine of 5000 Australian dollars for the manoeuvre, which is it deemed to be a breach of spirit-of-the-game laws.
Warne’s ability to promote the Big Bash has diminished this summer, with poor form on the field and a string of controversies damaging his popularity among cricket followers.
But CA operations manager Mike McKenna said the ruling aimed to eradicate similar cases and was not a ploy to push Warne away from the game.
“Shane didn’t perform as well as he’d like to on the field this year. So in that regard he will make his own call on whether playing next year is a good idea,” McKenna said.
“But on the balance of things, Shane has been fantastic for the Big Bash League and if he wants to play a role with the Melbourne Stars next year, or anyone else, we will welcome that discussion.
“Despite a few incidents, I don’t think his star has waned.”
Big Bash League teams were reminded of the over rate rules at the start of the tournament in December.
“If a team’s official captain is selected but not named as captain, this will be considered against the spirit of cricket and may attract a code of behaviour charge,” the official memo stated.