Shane Warne wants first-class cricketers to visit schools around the country.
Shane Warne wants first-class cricketers to visit schools around the country.

Back to school: Warne’s solution for grassroot concerns

SHANE Warne has called on Australia's first-class cricketers to go back to school in an effort to bolster the game at a grassroots level.

Warne raised concerns over the state of grassroots, club and first-class cricket in an interview on ABC's 7:30 Report, which will run on Tuesday night, saying Australian cricket was "struggling" and "pretty ordinary."

He believes part of the solution is for the country's first-class cricketers to visit schools, citing his own experience seeing Dean Jones, Merv Hughes and Simon O'Donnell as a youngster in Victoria.

"I don't think there's enough first-class cricketers getting into school cricket and inspiring people and talking to young boys and girls to say cricket's a great game and this is why, teaching them techniques," Warne told the 7:30 Report.

"Yes, they're busy…but you've got to find time and you have to find a way to make sure that school programs have opportunities for boys and girls."

Mitchell Starc was withdrawn midway through a Sheffield Shield match in 2016.
Mitchell Starc was withdrawn midway through a Sheffield Shield match in 2016.

Warne also criticised the treatment of the Sheffield Shield, alluding to a 2016 incident where Mitchell Starc was withdrawn midway during a match for NSW against Queensland ahead of the first Test of the summer.

"I think Cricket Australia at the moment are devaluing Shield cricket, and the reason I say that is, some players are playing one innings of the game, they'll bowl for 10 or 15 overs and they'll say, 'That's it, stop now,' pull them out of a game and just let someone else play."

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