|Player:||SK Warne, KJ Hughes|
DateLine: 10th October 2006
Former Australia captain Kim Hughes has taken Shane Warne to task for the leg-spinner's criticism of Australia's coach, John Buchanan. Hughes, who captained his country 28 times, has said the spinner is undermining Australia's bid to regain the Ashes.
Warne found fault with Buchanan's recent boot camp in the Queensland bush and he has also continued to stake a claim to the captaincy. "I think he's shown a complete disregard for the position that Buchanan has held and his attitude to the camp was very poor for a senior player," Hughes told the Daily Mail. "He'd be living in a fool's world if he thought he should ever be captain of Australia, because of the way he has behaved. He would have been an embarrassment if he had captained our country. From an English point of view, he has given them a real free kick for this Ashes series. If Australia loses the first Test then there's going to be questions about whether Buchanan has the full support of the team. I think the senior players need to sit him down and say: 'Warney, we're a team here; if you've got your thoughts then keep them to yourself because you're not making things any easier'.
Hughes also believes the leggie should keep his friendship with Hampshire teammate and England middle order batsman Kevin Pietersen under check. He claimed their bond hindered Australia's cause when they lost last summer's series 2-1.
"Warney's relationship with Pietersen didn't do Australia any favours," Hughes said. "They were too matey. It made Pietersen feel comfortable and I think he's the sort of player you need to make feel like he's not wanted. I think Warney's got to be told: 'Look, by all means have a beer with him at the end of the series, but once you step out there it all changes'."
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