Warne’s commentary future settled
FOX Sports has reportedly responded to Seven's signing of Ricky Ponting by landing Shane Warne.
Ponting and Warne were arguably the most sought after signatures in the commentary wars after Fox Sports and Seven landed the cricket broadcast rights from Nine and Ten.
Ponting, who became a star behind the microphone during Ten's Big Bash coverage, agreed to a deal with Seven late last week.
It left Fox Sports in position to snag the Spin King - a recruitment that The Australian's Peter Lalor reports will be confirmed later this week.
AFL commentator Garry Lyon, who joined Fox Sports last year, also reported the Warne deal was imminent.
"My sources tell me that S.K. Warne will commit to Fox for large sheets in a non-exclusive, cricket-only deal," Lyon told SEN Breakfast.
Warne, who has been part of Nine's cricket coverage for years, will join Big Bash stalwarts Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh at the pay-TV provider.
Michael Vaughan, Mike Hussey, Isa Guha and Mel Jones have also been confirmed as part of a team that already included Brendon Julian and Allan Border.
Julian welcomed the idea of Warne's signing in an interview with Macquarie Sports Radio on Monday.
"He'd be good," Julian said. "I really like Warnie. He carries a lot of weight. I think he adds a lot of value and no matter what he says either way, good, bad or whatever, it creates a story.
"He's like that. He's been like that when he played. He's been like that when he commentates now. He'll say things I disagree with. He'll say things I think 'that's a bit over the top'. But that's the way he rolls. I'd love him to come on to Fox Sports and I'm hoping he will."
Julian said he'd be "surprised" if Warne's deal was as large as the one Ponting signed with Seven.
"I'd be surprised if it goes as high as Ricky Ponting. I don't know what the figure was there, but I reckon it would have been pretty big," he said.
News.com.au's Tyson Otto describes Warne as "the greatest mind in cricket". "Nobody sees the game like him and his moments of genius are more enthralling than any of his TV colleagues," Otto wrote. "His moments talking about cricket make it worth sitting through his moments not talking about cricket."
His credential were also praised by veteran News Corp cricket writer Robert Craddock. "I really like Warne as a signing because as we have said before he just lets it all hang out, if he's angry he'll let you know," he told SEN's Whateley.
"If he's grumpy he'll let you know. "That emotional side, I reckon the viewers get that. They enjoy him saying 'why are they batting first in this Test, can someone explain it to me.' It's good stuff."
It comes after the revelation Waugh will finish up as a selector for the Australian cricket team after agreeing to terms with Fox Sports.
Waugh will not renew his contract when it expires in August, meaning he will still be on the panel for the Australian tours of England, where they will play five ODIs and one T20 game, and Zimbabwe, cricket.com.au reports.
Foxsports.com.au says Cricket Australia is expected to issue a statement as early as Tuesday.
- With AAP