Adelaide Strikers coach Darren Berry says the 42-year-old legspinner will be “cooked” well before the Stars host the Strikers at the MCG on January 19.
Warne bowled at the MCG nets on Thursday in preparation for his new team’s opening game against Sydney Thunder at the MCG on December 17.
“It’s not even worth responding to `Chuck’ (Berry),” Warne said of his former Victorian teammate. “Good on you `Chuck’. We’ll see how you go against us.”
Warne, who retired from Tests in January 2007, says he’s feeling fit for his return to Australian domestic cricket. Having reacted angrily in the past to remarks about his weight, Warne took everything in good humour on Thursday as Stars chairman Eddie McGuire announced EnergyAustralia as the team’s principal partner and Jenny Craig as the secondary partner.
“I feel fit and healthy and strong,” Warne said. “The shoulder feels ready to go. I’m 78 kilos now. I want to get down to 75. They (Jenny Craig) will be able to help me lose another three.”
Warne says he’s confident he can still play a major on-field role, not just with his bowling but also on tactical matters.
The former Australia vice-captain says his main sphere of influence will be in the dressing rooms, imparting knowledge to his younger teammates. It’s clear that his competitive instincts will kick in on December 17.
“I play for six weeks a year for the last few years (in the Indian Premier League T20) and don’t do anything in between,” Warne said.
“Success for me is about the team doing well and helping out. I wouldn’t come out and play if I didn’t think I could make a difference on the field.”
The Melbourne boy is happy to see the sunshine of home again after doing a pre-season in icy English conditions.
“I’ve been doing lots of fitness work. I’ve done more in probably the last six to 12 months than I did for 20-odd years,” said Warne, who arrived home on Sunday.
Stars captain Cameron White says his players can learn a lot from Warne, one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the 20th century.
“He has pretty much the best mind in the game,” White said. “Hopefully he plays well as well which I’m sure he will.”