Left field

The Reuters global sports blog

The age of fat cricketers is over … sadly



Shane Warne didn’t conceal his contempt for coaches during his playing days. Coaches, Warne reckoned, were needed only to transport players to the ground.

In retirement, the great leg-spinner has not modified his views and is scathing, in particular, of the modern obsession with physical fitness.

“If you could just turn up the night before and play, then I’d probably still be playing,” he told The Observer. “But there’s too much other rubbish they carry on with these days, jump tests, fitness things…”

Samit Patel will never reach the heights achieved by Warne. He might one day approach the Australian in girth, though, because this month the England management decided he had put on too much weight and dropped him from the England limited overs squad.