Shane Warne can say what he wants, says Michael Clarke

Diplomatic Australian skipper Clarke calls former teammate and spin-king his friend and mentor; Siddle and Johnson say Warne's comments no distraction.

Updated: January 31, 2013 19:57 IST
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New Delhi: Australian Test captain Michael Clarke has reacted diplomatically to Shane Warne's outburst against Cricket Australia's bosses. Clarke said Warne was entitled to his opinion and can say whatever he likes.

"The people who make the decisions on who gets employed, they'll definitely take notice. They'll read what Warnie had to say. And I'm sure they'll do whatever they have to do," said Clarke on Thursday.

In a report published in, two other current Australian players, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson, felt Warne's blog post recommending several changes in cricket administration were not a distraction.

"That's just Warnie being Warnie," Siddle said. "Warnie has done that when he played. He just likes the limelight."
Johnson simply said: "Those outside influences really mean nothing."

Warne has criticized the appointment of Pat Howard, the ex-rugby international who is the Australian team's High Performance manager. Clarke cautiously backed both parties.

An angry Warne suggested former Test captain Mark Taylor would make a good general manager of cricket. The 43-year-old Warne also nominated former New Zealand skipper Stephen Fleming as a fine candidate for national coach and said ex-Australia players Damien Martyn, Mark Waugh and Glenn McGrath would make good selectors.

Clarke says he's read Warne's thought piece but he won't be asking his ex-teammate to shut up.

"No. It's not my place," Clarke said. "Warnie and I are great friends and we always will be. Everybody's entitled to their opinion, and he's certainly earned the right to voice his opinion on Australian cricket.

"I speak to Warnie often about how things I can do personally to improve my game. Not only has he been a great friend, but he's a mentor to me as well. It doesn't bother me."

Clarke diplomatically said Warne and Howard both wanted the same thing, for Australia to return to the top of world cricket.
"Pat Howard has been doing a fantastic job," says Clarke, who as captain is also part of Australia's five-man selection panel which has been so heavily criticised by Warne.

"A lot of people will take a lot of notice of what Warnie has to say," added Clarke. "But people have jobs and are trying to do that job to the best of their ability. And that's all we can do. I'm a part of that as well," he added.

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