Last man standing
MacGill thought he would beat Warne to exit door
SHANE Warne’s longstanding deputy Stuart MacGill said he was initially ‘completely stunned’by the news his sometime teammate was retiring from international cricket as he always believed he would leave the Test stage first.
MacGill is a leading candidate to replace him in the Australian side.
However, the 35-year-old New South Wales legspinner said Thursday’s announcement was irrelevant to the way he would go about his game.
‘‘I was completely stunned and didn’t believe the news when I first saw it because I was always under the impression that I would be out before Shane,’’ MacGill said at the SCG yesterday.
‘‘He’s still very, very able to compete at whatever level he chooses but professional sport is about achieving goals and setting goals.
‘‘The first thing I thought this morning when I woke up was that how lucky I am that I still think that I’ve got things I want to do.
‘‘It would be a real shame to have heard the news and then think ‘I’ve had enough too’.
‘‘I still really think I’ve got some significant contributions to make to Australian cricket and if I play well for NSW and continue to prepare well, then I will be in good shape if Australia needs me.’’
MacGill praised Warne for the mentoring job he had done for younger players and made it clear he enjoyed a good relationship with the Victorian.
‘‘I think I probably get along with Shane better than I get along with anybody in the Australian team,’’ MacGill said.
‘‘Our parents are good friends and they are in regular contact and I appreciate Shane for everything he’s done for younger players.
‘‘Playing international sport is quite a difficult environment and he’s experi- enced a lot that the rest of us would never experience and he’s been able to pass on a lot of good things to people moving through.’’
MacGill, who has missed out on selection for the first four Tests of the Ashes series, wasn’t overly optimistic about his prospects of selection for the final match in Sydney, where he has invariably been chosen for Australia.
‘‘I’m not really sure if I will p l a y in Sydney t o b e honest,’’ MacGill said.
‘‘I’m comfortable with the way things are going and know that I still have things that I want to get done in a blue (NSW) cap and that might lead to a little more.’’
Whilst he returned the unflattering figures of 0-137 off 35 overs in the Blues’ Pura Cup loss to Victoria at the MCG t h i s w e e k , MacGill is still one of the leading spinners in the country this summer.
His haul of 16 wickets is just one behind SA legspinner Cullen Bailey.