Shane Warne plays grinch with absence from crucial BBL game

Shane Warne of the Stars celebrates after dismissing Moises Henriques of the Sixers during the BBL match between the Melbourne Stars and the Sydney Sixers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 21, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.
Shane Warne of the Stars celebrates after dismissing Moises Henriques of the Sixers during the BBL match between the Melbourne Stars and the Sydney Sixers at Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 21, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia. Scott Barbour / Getty Images

HE gets around in a distinctive green outfit, and his no-show tonight will disappoint many cricket fans at this festive time of the year.

No, he isn't one of Santa's elves, instead, a slimmed down Melbourne Stars captain Shane Warne will play the Christmas Grinch by skipping tonight's crucial BBL clash between the Adelaide Strikers and the Stars at the Adelaide Oval.

The drawcard leg-spinner has instead opted to spend Christmas in England with glamour fiancée Elizabeth Hurley and her family.

Warne will earn a cool $500,000 by the end of this Big Bash campaign, but rubbed some salt into the wounds of South Australian cricket fans when he tweeted the following on Tuesday: "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".

Cricket fans from the city of churches are still likely to turn up in droves though, as they did for games against the Heat and Sixers.

The match is expected to be a close one, with the Strikers second and the Stars third on the ladder with four rounds remaining before the semi-finals. Both teams have lost just one game.

The experienced Cameron White will captain the Stars in Warne's absence, while all-rounder John Hastings is likely to return from a back injury.

Warne will return to Australia in time for next Thursday's match against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.

Both the Strikers and Stars enjoyed a big win over defending champions the Sixers last round, with the 43-year-old Warne dismissing Daniel Smith and star all-rounder Moises Henriques.

Topics:  adelaide strikers bbl big bash league cricket melbourne stars shane warne

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