With the silly season in full swing, it makes sense that the Bring Back Shane Warne bandwagon clicked into gear again on Wednesday.
Like clockwork, Warne's delusional cheerleaders dust off their pom poms every 12 months or so to criticise Australia's lack of quality spin bowlers and call for the great man to pull on the baggy green again.
What makes the latest episode of fanciful Warne adulation disappointing is that it was generated by the man himself.
Let’s make one thing clear: Shane Warne will not play Test cricket for Australia again.
He’s repeatedly said that he's happily retired.
And with three children to look after, a wedding to plan and countless other commitments, Warne simply doesn't have the time to play Test cricket.
Whether he still has the ability or not is irrelevant. He's not coming back. He said as much with this tweet this morning: "I was asked 'could' I play not 'would' I play."
So it makes me wonder why Warne said what he did in the News Ltd press this morning.
Any reasonable person would have read those quotes and concluded that Warne was at least semi-serious about making a comeback.
Perhaps he was taken slightly out of context by answering a hypothetical question, but he still said it.
Warne is media savvy enough to know that any comment he makes about a possible return would generate a media storm.
The whiteness of his teeth is regarded as front page news, so an actual news story about the return of one of the greatest cricketers of all time is sure to create a buzz.
Warne should know that speculation about a comeback does nothing but undermine the current Australian team, especially captain Michael Clarke and current No.1 spinner Nathan Lyon.
Warne said he would consider a comeback if Clarke asked him to come out retirement. So there are no prizes for guessing the first question Clarke will be asked when he next faces the media.
Australia's next Test match is just over a week away. The last thing they need is to be distracted by the ghosts of cricketers past.
And spare a thought for Lyon. He did a more than serviceable job against South Africa, taking 12 wickets in a three-match series that was dominated by the batsmen.
But he's still finding his feet at international level and he too will be bombarded by questions about Warne the next time he faces the press.
Warne has been a strong supporter of Lyon's in the past 18 months, which makes his comments even more surprising and disappointing.
Nathan Lyon is not Shane Warne and he never will be. But at the moment, he's the best spin bowler Australia have at their disposal.
We all need to accept that.
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