Warne misses Strikers clash

26 December 2012 06:12:04 EST
Shane Warne will miss Melbourne Star's clash with Adelaide on Thursday.

Captain Shane Warne will miss Melbourne Stars' clash with Adelaide Strikers on Thursday, after flying out to the UK.

Warne will be replaced as skipper by Cameron White, but will be back for the following game against Brisbane Heat on January 3.

The leg-spinner explained on Twitter that he had gone with fiancee Liz Hurley for a Christmas break. 

Warne tweeted on Christmas Day from the UK: "Merry Christmas to everyone in Australia & NZ, I'm sure you're all up, checking your stocking & seeing what the big guy has got you."

He added: "Am spending my first Christmas away from Melbourne in 43 years I was hoping for a white Christmas in the UK & build snowmen too - sob !!! X"

The Stars sent out a press release late on Christmas Eve saying Warne would be absent through "pre-existing commitments in the United Kingdom."

All-rounder John Hastings is likely to return from a back injury, while opener Luke Wright is expected to replace Scott Henry at the top of the batting order.

Meanwhile, Strikers coach Darren Berry has hailed his wicketkeeper Tim Ludeman as the best in the country.

Ludeman has made a dramatic breakthrough this season, having been overlooked for the first BBL season.

He has made 135 runs so far this campaign, including a match-winning 71 from 43 balls against Sydney Sixers last Sunday.

"It has been a great story. He worked extremely hard in the off-season - he was desperate to get his spot back," Berry said.

"He has not only got it back - he's really stamped it. He has been a real exciting player for us."

Berry added: "I have always said he is one of the best 'keepers in the country, if not the best gloves. His hands are as good as anyone in the country, without doubt.

"I think he's the best 'keeper in Australia ... I say that unashamedly. And his batting has now stepped up a level."

Melbourne Stars are 8/11 to beat Adelaide Strikers, who are priced at 11/10.

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