Poker to stop Shane Warne playing cricket

Poker to stop Shane Warne playing cricket - 16th January 2008
(Credit: Telegraph)

Hampshire captain Shane Warne will miss the beginning of the English cricket season because of new poker commitments.

The Australian legspinnner has signed a deal with an online poker company to play in the World Series of Poker.

The 38-year-old, who retired from Test cricket in 2007, has been playing for five years and recently been having lessons with his friend Joe Hachem, former World Series champion.

Warne said: "I'm really excited. Hopefully this will replace the competitive spirit that I had with cricket.

"Nothing will replace the 20 years of cricket in my life but there are a lot of similarities.

"It's a game of skill that has a lot of analogies to cricket. You have to be very, very disciplined."

Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove is sure his captain will return to lead the side.

Bransgrove said: "We are confident he will back, but we will have to start the season with someone different.

"I know who the replacement will be but there are still contract issues to finalise and I will announce those plans when they are complete.

"We have got most of the plans in place for the new season.

"I am going to chat with Shane on Feb 15 and work out a sensible cricket programme for both of us."

Warne had already said he would miss out on Hampshire's Twenty20 campaign in June, and has recently agreed to undertake a role with Cricket Australia, to help with the development of young spin bowlers.


Shane Warne

Joe Hachem

World Series Of Poker


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