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Shane Warne's breaking of Dennis Lillee's Australian Test wicket taking record: transcript of comments.



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15 March 2000

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER

THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP

COMMENTS FOLLOWING SHANE WARNE’S

BREAKING OF DENNIS LILLEE’S AUSTRALIAN TEST WICKET

TAKING RECORD

E&OE……………………………………………………………………………………

JOURNALIST:

Mr Howard, a great day for Australian cricket and for Shane Warne.

PRIME MINISTER:

A great result in the Test, but I think on this occasion the personal performance deserves special mention. It’s an incredible feat to become the greatest Test wicket taker Australia has ever produced. Shane Warne has now taken more Test wickets than any other Australian. He passes the record previously held by that great fast bowler Dennis Lillee. It shows what a skilful spin bowler Warne really is. And I guess he would have got a special thrill out of it because it occurred in circumstances where once again Australia secured a great fighting victory. So on behalf of all Australians and particularly cricket loving Australians such as myself - congratulations Shane, it’s a great record. You’re a very fine bowler and I hope you go on for years representing Australia.

JOURNALIST:

Mr Howard, you would have known Dennis Lillee growing up and watching him as well. How would you compare the two bowlers?

PRIME MINISTER:

Oh look, I don’t make those comparisons. I think there’s different ages, different times. They were both great bowlers, both of them. And both properly included in the team of the century. I think Lillee was a fantastic bowler and he missed a couple of years for reasons we’re well aware of. But I don’t seek to make any comparison. One was a fast bowler, the other a slow bowler. Shane Warne has brought slow bowling back onto the map. It’s once again fashionable to be a slow bowler if you’re playing the mugs level of

cricket. And I think it is terrific what he’s done for bringing slow bowlers onto the map. And he’s a character. He attracts people and it’s a great performance and I congratulate him.

JOURNALIST:

Do you have a most memorable ball or match he’s played like the Gatting one?

PRIME MINISTER:

The Gatting one, the Gatting one. I mean the Gatting one was magnificent. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that or likely to see it again.

JOURNALIST:

And the Australian team I think with a record equaling run of wins in Test matches….

PRIME MINISTER:

They are a class act and Steve Waugh and the team deserve to be congratulated. I’m very proud of them. And I know all Australian cricket lovers are equally proud of them.

[Ends]