Sydney: Former Test leg-spinner Stuart MacGill has come out of a three-year retirement and joined veterans Shane Warne and Matthew Hayden in signing contracts to play in the Australia's domestic Twenty20 league.
MacGill will play with the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash competition. He played 44 Tests for Australia, taking 208 wickets, but retired in 2008 during a tour of the West Indies due to hand and wrist ailments.
The 40-year-old MacGill recently played two Twenty20 games in first grade for Sydney University, returning figures of 1-26 and 2-13.
MacGill said he played Twenty20 in England when the format first started, "so I've got a rough understanding and the demands it places on the bowlers ... I've always thought it was good for the old blokes."
MacGill's Sixers will take on Warne's Melbourne Stars at the Sydney Cricket Ground on December 27.
The 42-year-old Warne, who played his last Test for Australia in 2007, signed with the Stars in early November. Warne finished with a then world-record 708 Test wickets, part of the reason why MacGill played in Warne's shadow for much of his career.
"I don't know if I can spin it as far as I used to but they're spinning far enough," MacGill said. "It doesn't really matter if you hit me over the fence. I've been hit there before."
Since retiring, MacGill has been a breakfast radio host and appeared as a television wine show presenter.
He also seems to have softened his impression about the Big Bash's main sponsor, a fast-food chicken conglomerate. MacGill earlier this year criticized Cricket Australia for having the multi-national company as a major sponsor.
"The problem for me is that (they) are hitting parents where they're vulnerable," said MacGill, who has two young children.
"Parents are already under a lot of pressure from kids to buy this stuff and when you get the Australian cricket team endorsing it, you just increase that pressure. It's just wrong in so many ways."