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Warne signs up for more beans


SYDNEY, March 15 (AFP) - Australia's greatest wicket-taker Shane Warne has turned his well-publicised love of baked beans into cash.

The champion legspinner has signed a sponsorship agreement with Australian manufacturer SPC which should also ensure he never has to go without his favourite food again when touring overseas.

As part of the deal, Warne will appear in a television advertisement showing him unsuccessfully scouring the Indian city of Bombay for food to suit his very Australian taste buds.

Warne received a mercy package of beans and tinned spaghetti while on the Australian tour to India in 1998, when it was revealed he had been unable to face the local food and was existing on a diet of breakfast cereal, toast, cheese and Vegemite (yeast extract) on naan bread, supplemented with vitamin pills.

SPC managing director Nigel Garrard said the company had already dispatched a supply of its microwaveable baked beans and spaghetti to Warne in India where he is touring with the Australian cricket team.

Warne's manager Austin Robertson said the deal was confirmation that Australian companies still wanted to be associated with Warne despite the bad publicity he received last year.

Warne admitted in June last year to having conducted "dirty talk" over the telephone with a 22-year-old woman while in England playing with county side Hampshire.

And last February, after being photographed by a 15-year-old boy while smoking on tour in New Zealand, Warne grabbed the youth's bag and swore at him after the boy refused to hand over the film.

He had previously been fined by the Australian Cricket Board along with teammate Mark Waugh for accepting money from an Indian bookmaker for information about pitch and weather conditions during the short 1994 tour of Sri Lanka.

"Shane has a great relationship with all of his sponsors and we are both excited about this new partnership," Robertson said Thursday.

"He's as popular now as he has ever been."







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