The West

Inverarity plasy straight bat to Warne
Inverarity plasy straight bat to Warne

Shane Warne is no Voltaire but John Inverarity and Michael Clarke have taken the French philosopher's line in defending the right of the self-styled saviour of Australian cricket to pitch for far- reaching change in the game.

"I rejoice in the fact in Australia that it's a free press and we can all say what we like," Inverarity said in response to Warne's call for him to be sacked as chairman of selectors and replaced by Rod Marsh.

"People are free to do that and we're very fortunate to live in Australia where that can happen.

"But I don't have any further comments on what Shane had to say and write."

And Clarke, while acknowledging his great friendship with Warne, said Australian cricket was on the right path and did not need to make the wholesale changes suggested by the retired leg-spinner.

Referring to Australia's high performance manager Pat Howard as a "muppet", Warne said Mark Taylor should become cricket supremo, coach Mickey Arthur should be replaced by New Zealander Stephen Fleming, that his former teammates Damien Martyn, Mark Waugh and Glenn McGrath should become selectors and that Australia should pick the best team in every game and do away with the rotation policy.

"I read Warnie's article and, like anybody, he is entitled to his opinion." Clarke said. "He is one of the greatest-ever cricketers for Australia and in the world so a lot of people will take a lot of notice of what Warnie has to say.

"The main thing that he is focused on is for Australian cricket to have success and get back to our winning ways.

"We all want that - the players do, Pat Howard does and the selection panel does.

"Pat Howard has been doing a fantastic job and the selection panel has been trying to do everything in their power to help Australia have success now and into the future.

"One of the things Warnie said that is very true is that every member of the public believes they know the right team and who should play for Australia, and it is the greatest thing about this country that you are entitled to your opinion."

Warne indicated that he would release the second part of his manifesto tomorrow, after his first focused on replacements for most of Australia's support staff.

He said Merv Hughes or Bruce Reid should be appointed bowling coach, Mike Hussey or Michael Bevan look after batsmen and Ian Chappell become a consultant and mentor.

But Clarke said the current team was well supported and there was no need to change any personnel.

"People have jobs and are trying to do them to the best of their ability," he said.

The West Australian

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