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.

“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 & thankyou 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.

“If you asked me, ‘Can I come out and play a test match tomorrow?’ I’d have absolutely no doubt I could rip them out of the rough and turn them square, all that sort of stuff,” he said. “But playing international cricket is a huge commitment.

“Playing Twenty20 is a different commitment. You’re only bowling 24 deliveries, sometimes you might only bowl eight, sometimes 12. It depends on what the game needs. You don’t have to be prepared as you do for a test match, to bowl 60 overs in a match. That would test my fitness if I ever had to do that again, which is highly unlikely.

“People say, ‘You’re bowling that well, why don’t you play for Australia again?’ I say if I’ve got a test match in two weeks’ time, I have absolutely no doubt that I could come out and rip ‘em and be effective and do pretty well, but that’s a commitment to Australian cricket again.”

In a poll in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph newspaper on Wednesday, 70 percent of 5,500 respondents said they felt Clarke should ask Warne to return to the test team.

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