Sutherland defends CA after Warne tirade

GUY HAND, LAINE CLARK AND JOE BARTON
Last updated 22:35 29/01/2013

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Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has strenuously defended his organisation and those at the helm after Shane Warne's attack on them as "muppets".

Warne vented on Twitter late on Monday, aiming particular criticism at the controversial player rotation policy and seemingly taking aim at CA's high performance manager - former rugby union international Pat Howard.

After calling for cricketers, "not ex rugby or any other sports people plse, seriously," to run the game, Warne says he will outline his blueprint for the future of Australian cricket in the next 24 hours.

But Sutherland has defended Howard, his organisation, and expressed his disappointment that Warne chose to make his criticisms via Twitter rather than to CA directly.

He says the much-discussed player rotation policy is "not a black and white issue" - pointing to the fact another bowling great in Dennis Lillee is 100 per cent behind the concept.

"I have every confidence in Pat Howard and his team, and what they're doing," Sutherland told AAP.

"Personally I find it a little bit disappointing to read about that (Warne's criticisms) in the fashion that I have.

"Ideally you'd like to be able to sit down with Shane and understand a little bit more deeply his opinions.

"In the last day or so, we've had Shane expressing his thoughts ... and we've got Dennis Lillee - the other bowling great in the history of Australian cricket - who's actually expressed a very strong view this has been too long in coming.

"He's 100 per cent in agreement with the selection panel with managing the load and development of players.

"Who's right here?

"You've got Shane Warne saying one thing, Dennis Lillee saying another. It's not a black and white issue."

Warne says he will publish his in-depth Australian cricket manifesto, including whom he believes should be running the game, on his website.

"Australian cricket is in disarray & in my opinion people are hoping Australian cricket will turn around Lack of a plan & a cricket strategy," he wrote on his Twitter account which has more than one million followers.

"As I said last night we need cricket people running the team & who understand cricket & what's required at the top level, not muppets!

"I am speaking as a frustrated Australian cricket team supporter & want what's best for Australian cricket - Give me 24 hours to write a piece."

Australian vice-captain Shane Watson noted Warne's recent clash with authority during the Big Bash League when asked to comment on the legendary leg-spinner's latest Twitter outburst.

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Warne was fined a total of $9500 and suspended for one match during the BBL for various breaches of discipline while playing for Melbourne Stars.

"Warney's obviously got a few issues with the hierarchy at the moment with some of the things that happened during the Big Bash," said Watson, who'll return from a calf injury in NSW's one-day clash with Western Australia on Wednesday.

"Obviously he's got his own thoughts on what's going on and what happened in the last few weeks during his last few games in the Big Bash.

"There's no doubt the people who are involved in Cricket Australia are certainly trying to do the best job that they possibly can and are trying to support the players as much as they possibly can.

"That's all you can ask for as a player." 

- AAP

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