Last man stand­ing

MacGill thought he would beat Warne to exit door

Townsville Bulletin - - Cricket -

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.

Stu­art MacGill

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