Shane Warne’s return from retirement has been confirmed after the Melbourne Stars announced the legendary leg-spinner will play for them in the inaugural Big Bash League.
Warne was presented at a packed press conference at the MCG after signing a one-year deal that will see him return to competitive action in his homeland for the first time in five years.
However, he has been coaxed back out of his short exile by his newly-formed hometown club for the revamped Australian Twenty20 competition.
The controversial spinner is set to be a major draw for the competition, which begins next month with eight city-based franchises competing instead of the traditional state set-up.
His last appearance on home soil saw Warne claim his 1,000th international wicket as Australia completed a 5-0 Ashes whitewash in Sydney.
Warne told the competition’s official website, bigbash.com.au: “I’m really excited about playing competitively again and delighted to be joining the Melbourne Stars.
“I’m back in training next week turning my arm over.”
Warne, who will play for the entire competition rather than a make a cameo appearance, admitted he was itching to return in front of his adoring fans at the MCG.
“I’m fitter than I have ever been. I had a few offers but the MCG has been my backyard for 20 years,” he told foxsports.com.au.
“There were a few offers about playing a game here or there. And I thought if I’m going to do this, let’s do it properly,” Warne said.
“I thought it was an opportunity where I could actually give something back to the game of cricket that has been so good to me.
“I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and over the next sort of month or so I’m going to really get into the bowling and doing all those sorts of things with the Melbourne Stars.