Shane Warne’s manager James Erskine has revealed that the spin king admitted he was “probably” wrong in his criticism of Mitchell Starc in the lead-up to the Ashes series.
Warne had been outspoken on Starc’s potential inclusion for the first Test, as the star bowler had been leaking runs at alarming rates.
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Instead of Starc making the team, Warne had called for West Australian star Jhye Richardson to join the bowling cartel.
However, Starc was ultimately selected for the Ashes — with Richardson also earning some game time without needing to take Starc’s place — and as they say, the rest is history.
Starc more than justified his inclusion when he knocked over English opener Rory Burns’ leg stump with the first ball of the entire series to send the nation wild, with the 32-year-old wheeling away in celebration with a beaming smile.
But behind the scenes, Warne’s manager James Erskine revealed that the legendary spinner admitted he had “probably” been wrong about Mitchell Starc, but felt his criticism had perhaps inspired him to improve.
“He (Warne) was very opinionated,” Erskine told Fox Cricket’s Shane Warne tribute show.
“And you know with Shane, it was black and white.
“In life, most of us know there’s 1000 shades of grey in the middle, but it wasn’t for Shane.
“He was very black and white, and that was part of his success.
“But at the end of the day, he could have an opinion and criticise something.
“I mean, Mitchell Starc right now, he gave you some curry before the last Ashes Test, and that was his opinion.
“So I actually said to him, ‘you were wrong about Mitchell Starc.’
“And he said, ‘well you know what, I probably was, but I probably helped him get better.’
“It’s sort of interesting that that’s the way his mind works.”
Across the five Ashes Tests, Starc collected 19 wickets, including a dazzling spell in the Adelaide Test in which he took six wickets for 80 runs across both of England’s innings.