Shane Warne considering an Ashes return?

Shane Warne

Australian great Shane Warne said he would consider coming out of retirement to play in next year's Ashes series against England if asked by national team captain Michael Clarke, but Warne later tweeted that the suggestion might have been taken out of context.

The 43-year-old leg-spinner, who retired in 2007 after taking 708 test wickets, including 195 in Ashes tests, said he is happily retired but would consider a comeback if his country needed him. Warne is still bowling in Australia's domestic Twenty20 league with his Melbourne Stars.

"If your best friend says, 'Mate, I want you to seriously consider making a commitment to Australian cricket and coming back out of retirement','' Warne said he might do so.

He said while watching Australia lose the third test to South Africa in Perth this week that "I felt like I wanted to jump off the couch and grab the ball.''

"I really felt for Michael Clarke from a captaincy point of view,'' Warne said. "When you've got international bowlers bowling one or two full-tosses an over and half-volleys, I felt for Pup (Clarke). I really felt for him.''

On Wednesday, Warne indicated via his Twitter account that a realistic Test comeback was unlikely.

"Clarification guys & thank you for the kind words, but... I was asked 'could' I play not 'would' I play... yes, I could... didn't say I would !'' Warne tweeted.

In a later tweet, Warne apologised to Clarke.

"It was a hypothetical question re if Michael Clarke asked me... Read my quotes "I'm not asking Michael to ask me'' Hope I didn't disappoint!''

"Sorry MClarke23 if you woke up to calls! See you soon buddy....''

Warne, who plays Twenty20 cricket in Australia and overseas, believes he is bowling as well as at any stage of his career and could still excel at test level.

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