Warne offers to help England spinner Rashid

Melbourne, Oct 9 (IANS) Legendary spinner Shane Warne has offered to work with England and help leg-spinner Adil Rashid build an international career.

England has employed former Sri Lanka great Mahela Jayawardene to prepare their batsmen for the conditions they will face in the upcoming series against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.

Andrew Strauss, the England director of cricket, and coaches Paul Farbrace and Trevor Bayliss are keen to use specialist coaches, with Paul Collingwood set to join the squad for some of their One-Day International commitments this winter.

Warne has worked with bowlers around the world and spoke to Rashid, at the urging of Michael Vaughan, when Rashid first broke into the Yorkshire side.

A leg-spinner has not taken a five-wicket haul in Test cricket for England since the 1950s. Rashid is the next to try his luck with a Test debut in Abu Dhabi next week.

“Yes, 100 percent I would like to work with Rashid,” Warne was quoted as saying by the Telegraph on Thursday.

“I spoke to him when he was a young kid and he was pretty impressive. I help a lot of leg-spinners or general spinners during the year and I would love to help Adil Rashid if the opportunity arises. I hope he grabs his opportunity as it would be great to see England have a leg-spinner,” he said.

While Rashid tries to follow in Warne’s footsteps, the great leg-spinner is facing his own huge challenge: persuading Americans to fall in love with cricket.

Warne and batting legend Sachin Tendulkar have combined to arrange a masters cricket tournament featuring fellow retired cricketers such as Ricky Ponting, Brian Lara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Wasim Akram and Curtly Ambrose to play three Twenty20 matches at baseball stadiums across the United States in November.

The Cricket All Stars series will begin in New York on November 7 before moving to Houston on November 11 and finishing at Los Angeles’ Dodger Stadium on November 14 with an evening match played under lights.

Warne said tickets are already “flying out the door” for the matches which have been given official sanction by the International Cricket Council at a time when the governing body has been heavily criticised for failing to take the sport to new markets.

“We are trying to spread the word of cricket around the globe and to take it to countries that don’t normally get international cricket,” Warne said.

“We want to play 15 games over the next three years. We want to play a series in America every year and take it to other territories as well where people have not had a chance to see world class cricket and their heroes play,” the former leg-spinner said.

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