Clarke dismisses Warne bagging

GREG BUCKLE AND JUSTIN CHADWICK
Last updated 21:25 31/01/2013
Michael Clarke STD
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Australia Test captain Michael Clarke says he won’t be telling his friend and mentor Shane Warne to pull his head in and stop bagging Cricket Australia.

Clarke was trapped between the legspin great and Warne’s prime target Pat Howard on Thursday and the skipper backed both parties.

Warne has fumed this week that CA needs an overhaul including getting more cricket people involved rather than rugby types.

CA’s high-performance chief Howard is an ex-rugby international.

Warne says his own former Test captain Mark Taylor would make a good general manager of cricket.

The 43-year-old Warne has also nominated former New Zealand  skipper Stephen Fleming as a fine candidate for national coach and  says ex-Australia players Damien Martyn, Mark Waugh and Glenn McGrath would make good selectors.

Clarke says he’s read Warne’s thought piece but he won’t be asking his ex-teammate to keep a lid on it.

‘‘No. It’s not my place,’’ Clarke said.

‘‘Warnie and I are great friends and we always will be.

‘‘Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, and he’s certainly  earned the right to voice his opinion on Australian cricket.

‘‘I speak to Warnie often about how things I can do personally to improve my game.

‘‘Not only has he been a great friend, but he’s a mentor to me as well. It doesn’t bother me.’’

Clarke diplomatically said Warne and Howard both wanted the same thing, for Australia to return to the top of world cricket.

‘‘Pat Howard has been doing a fantastic job,’’ says Clarke, who as captain is also part of Australia’s five-man selection panel which has been so heavily criticised by Warne.

‘‘A lot of people will take a lot of notice of what Warnie has to say,’’ added Clarke.

‘‘But people have jobs and are trying to do that job to the best of their ability. And that’s all we can do.

‘‘I’m a part of that as well.

‘‘The people who make the decisions on who gets employed, they’ll definitely take notice.

‘‘They’ll read what Warnie had to say. And I’m sure they’ll do whatever they have to do.’’

Clarke’s Test teammates Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson say Warne’s outburst has not been a distraction.

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‘‘That’s just Warnie being Warnie,’’ Siddle said.

‘‘Warnie has done that when he played. He just likes the limelight.’’

Johnson said simply: ‘‘Those outside influences really mean nothing.’’

- AAP

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