Warnbe in hot water again

Daily Echo: SHANE WARNE SHANE WARNE

Dimi Mascarenhas's Champions League dream ended in disappointment today.

Hampshire's T20 captain was in the Melbourne Stars side that lost their Big Bash semi-final by eight wickets to Perth Scorchers at the WACA - despite making 183-2 after losing the toss.

Simon Katich was not required to bat, with Mascarenhas conceding 27 from his three overs as Perth reached their target with seven overs to spare, ensuring a place in Saturday's final against Brisbane Heat.

But once again it was Stars captain Shane Warne who made the headlines, the former Hampshire skipper falling foul of Cricket Australia for the second time in as many games.

Following what could have been the legendary leg-spinner's final competitive match, the former Hampshire skipper was reported by CA after he opted not to name himself as captain on the official team sheet.

James Faulkner, whose final ball no-ball cost the Stars a place in the final, was instead named skipper in a move that would have prevented Warne receiving a ban for slow over rates.

The 43-year-old, who only today returned from a one-game suspension following his ugly altercation with Marlon Samuels, instead faces the prospect of a second suspension.

A CA Statement revealed Warne could be handed a further one-game ban when he fronts a hearing at a date to be confirmed.

"Cricket Australia has today advised that Shane Warne has been reported for breaching CA's code of behaviour in tonight's KFC T20 Big Bash League semi-final between the Melbourne Stars and Perth Scorchers," the statement read.

"Warne is alleged to have breached Rule 5: Laws of Cricket and Spirit of the Game. On 5 December 2012, KFC T20 Big Bash League teams were sent a memo by Cricket Australia. Under the heading 'Over Rates', the memo stated that 'If a team's official captain is selected but not named as captain, this will be considered against the spirit of cricket and may attract a code of behaviour charge'.

"For tonight's match, James Faulkner was listed on the Melbourne Stars team sheet as captain and took part in the coin toss with Perth Scorchers captain Simon Katich. Warne had previously been issued with one strike for a slow over rate violation, with a second strike this season resulting in an automatic one-match suspension.

"The time and date of the hearing is yet to be determined."

Should Warne be banned it could provide a sour end to a controversial career that saw him take 708 Test wickets, a world record when he retired from international cricket following Australia's Ashes whitewash in 2007.

Warne returned to competitive cricket in Australia for the first time when the newly-franchised Big Bash League was launched last year.

The veteran's return has typically been successful, as well as controversial, as he led the Stars to the semi-finals in both campaigns.

His performances at this year's tournament were, however, overshadowed by the foul-mouthed altercation with Samuels, which were captured by his on-field microphone, during this month's Melbourne derby.

Warne was subsequently banned for one game, but on his return today did not bat or bowl as the Stars suffered a barely believable eight-wicket defeat on the Duckworth-Lewis method.

They had appeared set to claim victory only for Faulkner's last ball to be called a no-ball.

Hampshire’s Dimi Mascarenhas was also on the losing side along with Warne.

Mike Hussey hit the subsequent free hit for four to send the Scorchers into their second consecutive home final, against the Brisbane Heat on Saturday.

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