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Warne throws hat in ring to coach T20 side

AAP logoAAP 9/11/2016 Rob Forsaith

Australia's greatest spinner Shane Warne has joined an ever-growing list of contenders to coach the national side in an upcoming home Twenty20 series.

Cricket Australia (CA) is searching for a caretaker coach for three T20 clashes with Sri Lanka in February, when Darren Lehmann and the nation's best players will be in India preparing for a four-Test series.

Justin Langer, viewed as Lehmann's likely successor, will be tied up coaching Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield.

That leaves the likes of Ryan Harris, Brad Haddin, Jason Gillespie, Ricky Ponting, Michael Hussey and Brad Hodge as the leading candidates for the post.

All six of those former players have more coaching experience and formal qualifications than Warne.

But CA isn't ruling out the prospect of employing Warne, as was the case in the lead-up to the 2014 World Twenty20.

"We are speaking to a number of people about the prospect of coaching the T20 international squad against Sri Lanka as head coach and assistant coach, Darren Lehmann and David Saker, will be in India," a CA spokesperson said.

"At this stage no decision has been made on an appointment."

CA announced on Tuesday that Haddin and Harris will both serve as assistant coaches during a three-match ODI series in New Zealand that precedes the home T20 series against Sri Lanka.

Warne has a prickly relationship with CA high-performance chief Pat Howard, who has helped lay out a clear development pathway for aspiring coaches like Harris and Haddin.

But Howard is well aware of the value of Warne, who claimed 708 Test wickets and is regarded as one of the sport's all-time greats.

Warne served as a spin consultant in South Africa two years ago, helping Australia's tweakers prepare for the World T20 in Bangladesh.

"There's no better person than Shane to help guide the spinners we select in that squad," Lehmann said at the time.

"We believe our national teams can really benefit from more specific skill-based coaching as and when it is needed."

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