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Dec 14, 2010

Warne never in the mix for Perth Test: Chappell

Former Australian skipper and current national team selector Greg Chappell has sought to put the lid on Shane Warne's comeback rumors by stating the famous leg-spinner was never in conflict for the Perth Test starting on December 16.

There have been strong calls for Warne's comeback since Australia was whipping by an innings and 71 at Adelaide to go 0-1 down in the five-Test Ashes series against England. In fact, a group of businessmen have offered Warne $ 1 million to come out of retirement and save Australia in the remainder of the series.

Chappell said he was smiling by the sudden hype surrounding Warne, especially considering, the latter has only played Twenty20 cricket since his retirement four years back. "Warne's been a great bowler but he's 41 years of age, or near enough to 41," Chappell was quoted by the Telegraph as telling his brother Ian in an interview for the Sunday Herald.

Australia has tried out nine spinners since Warne's retirement, and the latest incumbent in that role, Xavier Doherty has been axed from the Ashes squad after a disappointing performance in Adelaide. Australian selectors have now turned to rookie Michael Beer to fill in the spinner's position for the Perth Test.

Chappell also said he wasn't sure if Warne's comeback was the way to take Australian cricket forward. "I'm sure he could still land a few but I don't know that that's going to take Australian cricket forward. We haven't really given a lot of thought about it other than that," Chappell added.

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