Cricket

Published: Thursday January 23, 2014 MYT 12:57:04 PM
Updated: Thursday January 23, 2014 MYT 12:57:17 PM

Warne to coach Australia spinners ahead of T20 World Cup

Australia's Shane Warne catches a ball during a training session before Thursday's third Ashes test cricket match against England at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester July 31, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

Australia's Shane Warne catches a ball during a training session before Thursday's third Ashes test cricket match against England at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester July 31, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

(Reuters) - Shane Warne will work with the Australia squad as a specialist spin bowling coach in the lead-up to the Twenty20 World Cup in Bangladesh in March, the country's cricket board said on Thursday.

The former Australian leg-spinner will work with head coach Darren Lehmann as a consultant during the short-time assignment, Cricket Australia said in a statement.

The 44-year-old will join the Australian Twenty20 squad in South Africa ahead of a three-match series in early March.

"We believe our national teams can really benefit from more specific skill-based coaching as and when it is needed," Lehmann said in the statement.

"This will mean that from time to time we will enlist the support of experts in their craft to work with our players and share their experiences.

"In the case of the ICC World Twenty20, we believe spin bowling will be critical to success. There's no better person than Shane to help guide the spinners we select in that squad.

"He was a gifted cricketer and remains passionate about spin bowling and seeing our players be the best that they can be. We're thrilled to have him on board."

Warne, Australia's top test wicket-taker and second all-time behind Sri Lankan Murali Muralitharan, had regularly played the shortest format of the sport in domestic leagues in India and Australia after retiring from international cricket in 2007.

"I'm excited to be working with Australia's spinners in South Africa," Warne, who currently works as a television pundit, said.

"I'm looking forward to helping them with some intense bowling preparation ahead of the World Twenty20, where we'll specifically work on tactics and mindset."

(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly; Editing by John O'Brien)

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