Warne ups stumps for English home base - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Warne ups stumps for English home base

By Jim Morton 13/03/2005 07:47:00 PM Comments (0)

Record-holding Test wicket-taker Shane Warne is leaving Melbourne to set up his home base in enemy territory - England.

On a day he claimed his 1000th first-class scalp, Warne made the shock announcement that he had bought a house at Ocean Village, Southampton and had planned to settle there with his family.

The Australian leg-spinner also revealed he was looking to play out his career captaining English county side Hampshire after retiring from Test cricket.

Warne said it was his "love" of the country, its proximity to Spanish holiday resorts and the length of the county season from April to September were the reasons for the move.

A high-profile figure who has endured a series of controversies during a 13-year Test career, he denied it was due to any unwanted attention he received in Australia.

"Basically I will be living in England most of the time, and coming back for the summers to play for Australia," he said after Australia wrapped up a nine-wicket first Test win over New Zealand.

"No real reason. I like it over there, my family enjoy going to Spain and it's only a couple of hours on the plane, so they enjoy that side of things.

"It's a bit hard when you're playing for Australia. If you're living in England for six months and you play all over Australia, you're hardly even in Melbourne anyway.

"You're in Brisbane or Perth or wherever, then you go away on a tour here like here to New Zealand and then go straight to England.

"So you're hardly ever in Australia, so I just wanted to set up a base in England where it's a lot easier and come back to Australia in the summer."

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