Coach ap­plauds Warne’s de­ci­sion to re­tire

Townsville Bulletin - - Sport -

SHANE Warne’s long-time coach Terry Jen­ner yes­ter­day ap­plauded the cham­pion legspin­ner’s de­ci­sion to bow out at the top of his game.

Warne on Thurs­day an­nounced he would end his 15-year in­ter­na­tional ca­reer in the fi­nal Ashes Test in Syd­ney early next month.

Jen­ner was hop­ing the King of Spin would carry on un­til the next Ashes se­ries in Eng­land in 2009 but said he un­der­stood Warne’s de­ci­sion.

‘‘Whilst I was re­ally sad, I wasn’t shocked by it be­cause in this (Ashes) se­ries he’s worked so hard,’’ Jen­ner said.

Jen­ner has worked closely with Warne since he be­gan coach­ing the young leg­gie at the Ade­laide cricket academy in 1992, the year Warne made his Test de­but.

In his re­tire­ment an­nounce­ment, Warne de­scribed Jen­ner as his ‘Dr Phil’.

‘‘I think I was flat­tered when he called me Dr Phil,’’ Jen­ner said af­ter re­veal­ing cricket’s all-time lead­ing wicket-taker had suf­fered from the same in­se­cu­ri­ties as other mere mor­tals de­spite car­ry­ing an aura of supreme con­fi­dence through­out his stel­lar ca­reer.

‘‘I think this is why he was one-in-a-life­time-type bowler — he had all the skills, but he also had a gi­ant heart,’’ Jen­ner said.

‘‘He was trou­bled like a lot of other crick­eters. When things aren’t go­ing right, you won­der where you’re next wicket is com­ing from ... yet he worked through those things day in and day out.’’

Jen­ner, also a legspin­ner who played nine Tests for Aus­tralia be­tween 1970-75, hoped Warne would be re­mem­bered as much for his re­silience and com­pet­i­tive spirit as for spin­ning ge­nius.

‘‘Shane knows the body suf­fered,’’ Jen­ner said.

‘‘He doesn’t share that. He doesn’t say ‘oh, it was hard to get out of bed to­day be­cause my back was aching’etcetera. He just knows what the chal­lenge is ahead and he lived ev­ery mo­ment for Test cricket, play­ing for his coun­try.

‘‘Right to the last minute of that match in Perth where it was he that stood up again and was counted, it was just a spe­cial mo­ment for him.

‘‘I think at the end of that day, he prob­a­bly sat down and ... was ab­so­lutely stuffed and think­ing (that) sooner or later he was go­ing to be in the po­si­tion where he needs to bowl Aus­tralia to vic­tory and doesn’t.

‘‘That’s when the peo­ple would say ‘yeah, he’s gone too long’. But he’s done it on his terms. I think that’s fan­tas­tic.’’

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