It was brushed away as “Warnie being Warnie, but Isa Guha has revealed Shane Warne’s desire to coach England was real.
Last month, Warne set the cat amongst the pigeons when he told former England captain Nasser Hussain he thought he would be a good coach of England.
“Yeah, I think I’d do a pretty good job,” he said on Sky Sports’ Cricket podcast following the sacking of Chris Silverwood following England’s horror 4-0 Ashes loss.
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There was one sticking point, though.
“I wouldn’t be called the coach, I think I’d be called the team manager,” Warne said.
As a hint of laughter broke out between Hussain and another former England batter Rob Key, Warne doubled down.
“I’d like to do it. No, no I’d like to do it and it’s a great, fun time to be England (coach),” he said.
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Warne, who took over as London Spirit’s coach last year in The Hundred and was set to welcome Andrew Symonds to his coaching ranks this English summer, said that he thought “trust” and “honesty” were the keys to coaching.
Former Australian captain Mark Taylor was one of a number of cricket identities who played down the possibilities of Warne coaching England.
“I can’t see Warney coaching England. I can’t see Warney coaching too many sides that would take 12 months (of the year) to do it,” Taylor told 2GB†
“Look, if he wanted to do it, put his hand up, good luck to him.
“But I would be very surprised to see Shane Warne coach England. They’re full-time jobs, they take you away from home, they take you away from life.
“When you get to our age – and Warney’s not quite as old as me. But some of us want to go fishing down in Tasmania, and I’m sure Warney probably wants to play a few games of cards and enjoy life.
“I’m not sure he wants to be coaching for 12 months of the year.”
Yet, in a column for News CorpGuha, the former England bowler turned respected pundit and broadcaster, said Warne had floated the idea to her.
“The last time I saw Shane Warne in person, he came to me with a question,” Guha wrote.
“Hey Ish … I’m keen to put my hand up for this England job, what do you reckon?”
“He was serious.
“People might have dismissed his quotes about wanting to coach England a fortnight ago as Warnie being Warnie, but he meant what he said and he wanted to know what I thought.
“I told him I thought he’d be amazing.
“Tactically he was so good and I thought England would really benefit from someone like him who could give the players belief and enhance them as cricketers.”
“Warnie was close to a few of the England players having worked with them at the Rajasthan Royals and he got on with them well, as you could tell by the outpouring of emotion from Joe Root and Ben Stokes and the England players reacting to the news in the West Indies.
“I absolutely think he had it in him to do that. Warnie loved a challenge and always wanted to push himself, and who knows what would have happened?”
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Warne’s agent James Erskine also confirmed to News Corp that he expressed an interest in coaching England.
But he added that it would more likely have been at a later point down the road, particularly given the contracts already in place, including a recent extension at Fox Sports.
“He told me he would like to coach England,” Erskine told News Corp.
“Warnie would never have applied for the job. It would be a case of England tapping him on the shoulder to see whether he was interested, and he was.
“He was not currently in a position to coach England with all his current contracts in place. He wouldn’t have been a replacement now. It would have been later in his career. We had just renewed his contract with Fox.
“But he wanted to do it. He liked coaching. When he was coaching in the Indian Premier League he found it exciting and he liked the 100 concept in England.
“I think he would have been a pretty damn good coach of England. Had he started coaching a major national team the drop in income would have been huge. But he was certainly interested.”