India must use power responsibly: Warne

Aussie spin great wants a more balanced contest between bat and ball

Australian spin legend Shane Warne says India should be careful in using its growing power in world cricket and ensure that smaller nations are not 'trampled over' by its money power.
 
"I think it's important that India, which has become the centre of world cricket, uses her power responsibly. We don't want the smaller nations to be trampled over in the search for more revenue," Warne wrote in his column for The Daily Telegraph.
 
Among the changes he wants to see on the cricket field, the 41-year-old, who played his last professional game on Friday in the IPL, advocated a more balanced contest between the bat and ball.
 
"On the field, the big thing I'm looking for is a better balance between bat and ball. No one wants Test matches where 500 plays 450. We all need to play less cricket, and that way the groundsmen will have more time to prepare good sporting wickets that give everyone, bowlers included, a fair go," he said.
 
Looking back at his career, Warne expectedly named old nemesis Sachin Tendulkar who he most admired and found the most difficult to face.
 
"It has to be Sachin, because of the seemingly effortless way he deals with the pressure of a billion people hanging on his every move. He never puts a toe out of line off the field, and never queries an umpire's decision on it. We have been good friends for a while, even if it's not so friendly when we are out in the middle and one of the pleasures of playing in the IPL has been the chance to spend a little time with him," he said.

Warne, who retired from international cricket in 2006, said he could not imagine a better way to end his career than with the thumping victory for his Rajasthan Royals over Sachin Tendulkar's Mumbai Indians with his actor girlfriend Liz Hurley looking on.

"It seemed fitting that my last match was against the great Sachin Tendulkar in his back yard," he said. "All week I had been looking forward to resuming battle against the best cricketer I have played with or against.

"After the match he approached me and said, 'It has been an honour and a privilege to play against you. I wish you all the very best for the future. You are a legend.' It was a great moment."

Warne, who took 708 Test wickets and was named as one of five Wisden cricketers of the 20th century, said he would miss the game and would like to be remembered as a player who always gave his all.

"I am not exactly sure what my future holds, but I will stay in touch with cricket through my media work, so my opinion - if you like it - will still be heard," he said.

"But from today, I am no longer Shane Warne the playing cricketer. I am Shane Warne the businessman, and I'm happy with that."

 

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