The Melbourne Stars have today confirmed that Australian cricketing legend, Shane Warne will not play on with the Melbourne Stars in BBL|03.
The leg-spinning great was instrumental in the establishment phase on and off the field of the Melbourne Stars and significantly lifted the profile of league in its first two seasons.
After joining the Stars as the BBL marquee player in the inaugural season, Warne returned in BBL|02 to captain the Stars to a semi-final berth. He now hands the captaincy reins back to the inaugural skipper, Cameron White.
"I think the time is right for me to hang up my Big Bash boots - juggling business, family and commentary commitments across two continents is not easy,” Warne said.
"I would like to thank Eddie, Clint and Ian along with all the team and support staff for giving me the opportunity to play with the Melbourne Stars.
"I've always loved the game but now it's time to observe. I wish Cameron and rest of the lads all the best for the BBL|03."
"It's going to be a huge summer for Australian cricket. I’m really looking forward to it and will be closely following the Melbourne Stars."
The Melbourne Stars CEO, Clint Cooper was also full of praise and supportive of Warne’s decision to not play on in BBL|03.
“It goes without saying, Shane has been instrumental in the start-up of the BBL and the Melbourne Stars,” Cooper said.
“But now with increasing business and family commitments across the world we fully understand Shane’s decision to not play on this season.
“Shane will still have an ongoing involvement with the team ‐ exactly what that capacity is will be refined over coming months.
“Needless to say we are delighted and indeed grateful to have arguably Australia’s greatest ever cricketer aligned with the Melbourne Stars.”
Chairman of Selectors, Ian Chappell also paid tribute to Warne’s contribution to team.
"Shane's time with the Stars added greatly to the team and the competition,” Chappell said.
“To have his skill and expertise around the squad has been of tremendous benefit and as always he's been ever ready to pass on his knowledge to others.
“The Stars wish him well with his next stage in life knowing that he'll be visiting when time permits and available to pass on advice when asked.”
Melbourne Stars Head Coach Greg Shipperd believes his team and the league are indebted to Warne for what he has helped them achieve during the first two seasons.
“It was always a privilege to share a dressing room with Shane,” Shipperd said.
“His unique and exceptional skills will remain a symbol of excellence for generations to come.
“During his time at the Stars, Shane shared freely with his teammates from his vault of strategic and mental understandings; he made us realise what makes a champion tick.”