Shane Warne has revealed that England legend Ian Botham tried to talk him out of retiring.
The leg-spinner will quit international cricket after the final Test against England following Australia’s Ashes-winning victory in Perth.
Writing in The Times, he says: "A few people tried to talk me out of it. Ian Botham was one. He told me I‘m still at the top of my game, that I‘m the greatest cricketer that ever lived and that people in England would would love to see me play in the Ashes series in 2009.
"Ricky Ponting [Australia captain], whom I told after we‘d won in Perth, was a bit shocked but said he respected my decision. I had actually had a chat with him about it before the Brisbane Test so he already had an inkling about my intentions.
"I also shared a beer with Ian Chappell [former Australia captain], whose opinion I greatly respect. He said it was better to be asked ‘why are you’ rather than ‘why don‘t you’."
Warne has no regrets about his decision. He said: "I‘m happy. It‘s good to be leaving Australian cricket in such a healthy state.
"I‘m looking forward to playing again for Hampshire both next year and in the 2008 season.
"I don‘t think I could give up the game totally yet and I signed a three-year contract last year that I always intended to honour."