Michael Clarke's heartbreaking reveal about Shane Warne and Mitchell Starc

Michael Clarke, pictured here alongside Shane Warne.
Michael Clarke has revealed how Shane Warne really felt about Mitchell Starc. Image: Getty

Michael Clarke has made the staggering revelation that Shane Warne was actually a huge fan of Mitchell Starc after the Aussie bowler expressed his sadness that he'd never get to settle his rift with the Spin King. Warne was arguably Starc's harshest critic and called for the left-armer to be dropped from Australia's Test side on a number of occasions.

Starc took a thinly-veiled swipe at Warne after winning the Allan Border Medal earlier this year, hitting out at the 'outside noise' that failed to distract him. Warne previously said that he'd like to have a chat with Starc to clear the air, but it never took place after Warne died in March while on holidays in Thailand.

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Speaking earlier this week, Starc expressed his sadness that they'd never buried the hatchet with Warne. “The disappointing part, or the sad part, is that we never got to have that conversation,” he said.

“I guess we’ll never know (whether it was personal). I don’t know - I never got a phone call to take up that offer (of a beer). Hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

Speaking on Sky Sports radio, Clarke said his great mate Warne didn't have anything personal against Starc and really liked him as a bowler. Clarke added that he was going to get in contact with Starc to ensure him there was no hatred to Warne's criticism.

“I can tell you now. Warnie liked Starcy,” the former Test captain said. “I’m going to reach out to Starcy because I don’t think Starcy realises that Warnie actually loved him. Really liked him, thought he had so many good things about his game.”

Clarke said Warne, who in 2014 labelled Starc 'soft', was just trying to dish out some tough love. He added: “Warnie just marked him hard. That’s all. And I tell you, Warnie actually believed at times that him being so hard on him got the best out of him. He thought he was saying it as well to help Starcy.

“I know he was hard on him. He did that with certain players, he’d pick them and wouldn’t let up and Starcy was probably one of those.

“But I spoke to him about it at the time and he did not have any personal issue with Starccy at all. (He) met him a few times and thought he was absolutely fine. You can understand why Starcy had taken that personally as well, so I’m going to reach out to him today … honestly, he really liked him.”

Mitchell Starc, pictured here in action for Australia against the West Indies.
Mitchell Starc in action for Australia against the West Indies. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Mitchell Starc on cusp of 300 Test wickets

Starc is just four scalps away from becoming the seventh Australian in history to reach the 300 Test wicket club and looks likely to do so in the first Test against South Africa, starting on Saturday. The 32-year-old said part of his success has been blocking out the unwanted noise from the media.

"It's part of cricket, you're going to have your critics and everyone is entitled to have an opinion," Starc said this week. "I did with everything (take things personally) - I was someone who listened to and read everything.

"That year we had multiple broadcasters start (2018-19), everyone coming in with radio, that's when it really doubled down on the noise and it really got away from (me). That's where I learnt best to let things go and only worry about the groups that mattered most to me.

"That was a point where it changed a fair bit for. Where I chose not to read things and it's continued on where it doesn't matter."

Australia and South Africa will kick off a three-Test series at the Gabba on Saturday in what is sure to be a spicy affair after the ball-tampering scandal of 2018. The three matches will be the first Test series between the two nations since Australia were caught applying sandpaper to the ball in South Africa nearly five years ago.

with AAP

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