Pi­etersen thought Warne an id­iot

Townsville Bulletin - - Ashes -

KEVIN Pi­etersen ad­mit­ted he thought Shane Warne was an ‘ar­ro­gant Aus­tralian id­iot of a crick­eter’ af­ter the pair clashed dur­ing the first Test of the cur­rent Ashes se­ries.

Last month at the Gabba, Warne al­most hit Pi­etersen when throw­ing the ball to Aus­tralia wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist.

An unim­pressed Pi­etersen fended the ball away with his bat and made his feel­ings clear to Warne, whom he has of­ten cited as a close friend.

Warne is Pi­etersen’s cap­tain at English county Hamp­shire and last year cham­pi­oned the South African-born shot­maker’s cause ahead of his Test de­but in the first Ashes clash of the 2005 se­ries.

All that though was forgotten out in the mid­dle at Bris­bane. ‘‘For a few mad sec­onds I thought, mates or not, I am never go­ing to speakto that dick­head again,’’ Pi­etersen told the New­soft­heWorld, Bri­tain’s big­gest-sell­ing Sun­day tabloid news­pa­per.

‘‘The Ashes bat­tle of 2005 was never like that,’’ added Pi­etersen, who was dropped early on by Warne dur­ing his in­nings of 158 in the fi­nal Test at The Oval in Septem­ber last year which sealed Eng­land’s 2-1 se­ries win. How­ever, he in­sisted that his fall­ing-out with the cham­pion leg-spin­ner did not last long. ‘‘We chat­ted at the end of the Test and got over it.’’

Aus­tralia are an un­beat­able 3-0 up in this se­ries head­ing into the fourth Test that started at the Melbourne Cricket Ground — Warne’s home venue — yes­ter­day

Pi­etersen, who said Warne was ‘the great­est bowler who ever walked on this planet’, added: ‘‘Shane has been a ma­jor in­flu­ence on my ca­reer. He’s one of the rea­sons I moved from Not­ting­hamshire to Hamp­shire.’’

And he praised Warne for the way in which he still man­aged to be Aus­tralia’s star dur­ing the 2005 Ashes de­spite the highly pub­lic col­lapse of his mar­riage to wife Si­mone.

‘‘Split­ting with Si­mone must have made those sum­mer months in Eng­land last year so tough — yet he took40 wick­ets and scored nearly 300 runs.’’

And Pi­etersen, 26, who again scored 158 in the sec­ond Test of this se­ries, at Ade­laide, said he’d never known any­one more com­pet­i­tive than Warne.

‘‘He never stops. Shane se­ri­ously ex­pects to get a wicket with ev­ery de­liv­ery. War­ney is box of­fice — that is what ev­ery crick­eter should as­pire to be,’’ he said.

Kevin Pi­etersen

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