SHANE, let's talk. That is the message to Shane Warne from Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland, who has expressed complete faith in team-performance chief and former Wallaby Pat Howard, the main target of the leg-spinning great's latest outburst.
Sutherland has invited Warne to discuss his grievances in private after the 43-year-old followed his graceless exit from the Big Bash League with a tirade about the nation's contentious selection and player-management systems in which he described team-performance staff as ''muppets''.
Sutherland, who was in Canberra for the Prime Minister's XI match against the West Indies, told Fairfax Media he had exchanged text messages with Warne on Tuesday but he was busy with poker commitments at the moment.
''From where I sit, the team-performance area is working very well from Pat Howard down and obviously we have got a team in transition. There is a detailed and complex plan in place to try to get the Australian team back on top as soon as possible,'' Sutherland said.
''They're working to a plan that came out of the [Argus review] … At times we need to remind ourselves about … the ambitions that were set within that and no one, least of all the people who sat on that panel, expected things to turn around overnight. And we've lost a couple of very senior players in the meantime.''
Warne has promised to publish a more detailed account of his views on his personal website.
Sutherland admitted it was not ideal for one of Australia's greatest cricketers should tell the world the nation's cricket was becoming a joke.
''It's not ideal, but Shane is entitled to express his view. Hopefully at some stage we will have a chance to sit down with him and understand a bit more about what is behind that. We've always had a good relationship with Shane and we know he genuinely cares about Australian cricket.
''I have exchanged messages with him today, just that we should catch up some time. That may or may not happen, that is up to him, but I value his opinion and I'm interested in his views. He will be listened to.''
Warne has been in dispute with Cricket Australia since the ignominious end of his stint in the BBL, during which he was fined and suspended for one match over an on-field bust-up with Marlon Samuels. He also failed to appear at a disciplinary hearing.
On Twitter, Warne said CA must look beyond rugby union and get current cricket people involved.
Warne, who is a close friend of Australia's Test and one-day captain Michael Clarke, said it was ridiculous to deprive the sporting public of seeing the star batsman in action during some of the one-day games against Sri Lanka earlier this month. Clarke had a sore hamstring.
''I think CA really need to look at the people who are making decisions on all facets of cricket in Australia,'' Warne said, adding that Australia was looking at becoming a joke.
He said Cricket Australia had to wake up, and the public was being dudded.
''Can CA please put current cricket people in charge to run the game, select teams, not ex rugby or any other sports people plse, seriously. We have the best batsmen/captain in the world in MClarke23 (Michael Clarke) - He needs current cricket people to help him out not muppets.''
Sutherland said Warne's rant did not reflect Clarke's views and said Howard's rugby background did not detract from his ability to do the job.
''I can assure you I talk to and deal with Michael Clarke a lot and I have never heard anything other than positive or enthusiastic support for the role Pat is playing.
''I am very, very comfortable with how the whole team-performance team is functioning and the role Pat Howard is playing in leading that. Pat is the first to admit he is not a cricket expert, but he is an expert in high performance.''
Warne added to his remarks on Tuesday insisting he had not singled out Howard as a ''muppet''.
''Australian cricket is in disarray & in my opinion people are hoping Australian cricket will turn around lack of a plan & a cricket strategy [sic]. I have not spoken to anyone I suggest for these roles, it's just my opinion as I think all of us who love Australian cricket have had enough.''