Warne, McGrath to retire after Ashes

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Old 20-Dec-2006
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Warne, McGrath to retire after Ashes

Warne, McGrath to retire after Ashes

December 20, 2006 13:48 IST
Last Updated: December 20, 2006 15:26 IST

<!-- wml_version_starts --> Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne and fast bowler Glenn McGrath are planning to retire from international cricket after next month's fifth Ashes Test against England, Australian television reported on Wednesday.
The Nine Network said Warne would announce his pending retirement at a news conference in Melbourne on Thursday and pursue in television, but did not say when McGrath planned to make his decision.
Cricket Australia officials were unable to confirm the report.
"There is nothing we can say," CA spokesman Peter Young said.
"Those two players are the masters of their own destiny and the owners of their own futures and when they announce decisions on their futures is up to them."
Rumours of Warne's retirement have been circulating in the Australian media for years and Wednesday's report ironically came on the same day that he wrote a column for a Sydney newspaper saying he had no immediate plans to quit.
However, the 37-year-old hinted his career is drawing closer to an end after helping Australia regain the Ashes in the third Test in Perth, which ended on Monday.
"These are the things you're going to miss," he said in a televised interview.
"I'm closer to the end than the bloody start."
Nine's unconfirmed announcement caught Australia's cricket community by surprise with national selector David Boon telling reporters he had not heard anything.
"I don't when he's proposing to do it officially or whether it's just rumour. I don't know," Boon said.
Former Australian captain Allan Border told Fox Sports he is surprised by the news.
"I suppose there's a lot of innuendo about what the reasons are... I'm in a bit of a state of shock."
Warne is the world's leading wicket-taker and arguably the most famous cricketer since Australia's legendary batsman Don Bradman.
He already has 699 Test scalps and is poised to become the first man to reach the once-unimaginable 700 barrier when the fourth Ashes Test starts in his home town of Melbourne next Tuesday.
McGrath is third on the all-time list of wicket-takers behind Warne and Sri Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, but with 555 victims, he is the leading fast bowler.
The 36-year-old has been troubled by injuries in the past few seasons and took 10 months off to care for his ill wife.
Rumours have been rife that Australia's all-conquering team would be broken up after this Ashes series, with half the side 35 or over.
Damien Martyn helped confirm the reports when he suddenly announced his retirement after the second Test in Adelaide, but Australian captain Ricky Ponting said this week he was not expecting a mass exodus.
Despite their incredible success over the past decade and a half, Australia's players were dismissed as past their sell-by-date after their shock series loss in England last year.
But the team has not a lost a Test since, including a resounding victory against a star-studded Rest of the World side, and avenged their loss to England by regaining the Ashes from England in record time.

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