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Warne's comeback is return of king

By Greg Buckle
February 11, 2004 12:08 IST
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Australia's newspapers hailed Shane Warne's comeback from a 12-month doping ban as the "Return of the King" on Wednesday in a story that dominated the front pages of the national dailies.

Warne made 11 with the bat for Victoria against Queensland in a second XI match on Tuesday and also took a slip catch. But he did not bowl because rain forced an early end to the day's play.

Shane WarneTop-selling Melbourne tabloid the Herald Sun, which boasts Warne as a columnist, hailed the "Return of the King". It also showed the smiling leg spinner surrounded by television cameras with the caption: "Shane Warne is back".

Inside on page seven, the newspaper ran two more photographs, one of Australia's leading wicket-taker gazing skywards and another of wife Simone looking on from the stands at Melbourne's Junction Oval.


The newspaper's main back-page headline appeared to sum up the cricket-loving nation's hopes, GO SHANE, and added a kicker heading: "Ticket to Sri Lanka already booked", in a reference to Australia's Test tour next month.

Two more pages of Warne photographs in the sports section showed him batting, fielding in the slips and shaking hands with umpire Paul Reiffel, his former Test team mate.

National broadsheet The Australian showed Warne, 34, looking up at the drizzle in a large front-page photograph below a heading: "Sky's the limit to Warne's comeback".

The Australian also showed Warne on its back page, walking proudly out to field in his designer sunglasses and blue Victoria cap.

Melbourne broadsheet The Age ran large photographs of Test cricket's second highest wicket-taker on its front and back pages, showing Warne giving a Churchillian two-fingered salute to applause from fans as he walked out to field.

The Age's back-page heading was "What's all this, a reign delay?"

Warne was banned last year after testing positive for a diuretic, which can be used to mask other drugs, in the biggest doping scandal to hit cricket.

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Greg Buckle
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