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Ashes 2021/22

‘You bowled so called “pace”’ – Shane Warne hits back at former Test cricketer after being criticised for ‘bagging his own Aussie players’

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Shane Warne has hit back at former Test cricketer Chadd Sayers after being criticised for “bagging his own Australia players” during the fourth Ashes Test at Sydney.

Warne responded to Usman Khawaja’s recall to the Australia Test side after a two-and-a-half year absence by suggesting Mitchell Marsh should have been picked in his place.

“Australia has been waiting a long time for Mitchell Marsh to come good .. and right at the moment he’s in the form of his life,” Warne said on Fox Cricket.


“So I hope the selectors didn’t categorise Mitchell Marsh as an all-rounder. Yes, he is, but he could still play as a batsman. He’s in the form of his life, Mitchell Marsh.

“For me, I just think as a bowler who would I rather bowl to, Khawaja or Mitchell Marsh? I’d much rather bowl to Khawaja. Mitchell Marsh can hurt you, he’s dangerous and we’ve been waiting for him to have a chance.

“Khawaja deserves his chance, don’t get me wrong, I’m not having a go. But we’ve been waiting a long time for Marsh to come good and what a time now, when you’ve won the Ashes, what a time to say ‘have you got it at this level? You’re going to be tested against Broad and Anderson, let’s see what you’ve got in this form’.

“He’s a match-winner, Mitch Marsh.”

Khawaja capped his comeback with a memorable century to give the hosts the ascendancy, and Sayers, who played one Test for Australia in South Africa following the ball-tampering scandal, took to Twitter to criticise Warne.

“Shane Warne keeps bagging his own Aussie players,” he tweeted. “Went hard at Starc – Wrong and now Uzzie – wrong.”

Warne responded by saying he had intended to praise Marsh, rather than “bagging” Khawaja, and included some personal jibes against Sayers’ bowling skills for good measure.

“Hey champ,” Warne tweeted. “Fyi – Saying you would prefer to bowl to Khawaja than Marsh is not bagging anyone. Ps I bowled spin. You bowled so called “pace.” The keeper stood in the same spot hahaha. PPS You would need a helmet bowling to M Marsh right now.”

Warne and Sayers have history. After Sayers’ debut, Warne, in a message congratulating the seamer for his two wickets, said that he hadn’t “looked threatening”.

“Congrats to Chadd Sayers on his late 2 wickets on debut!” Warne tweeted. “It’s been a tough day for him & he hasn’t looked threatening bowling around 120 k’s an hour on an up and down pitch. But full credit to him for still giving it his all – well done”.

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