'My girls told me...': David Warner on signing for Big Bash League after 9-year gap

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Sunday, August 21, 2022, 01:08 PM IST
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David Warner with daughter Indi Rae | PTI

Australian opener David Warner signed a two-year deal with Big Bash League (BBL) side Sydney Thunder, ending months of speculation.

Warner said his family had influenced his decision to return to the BBL.

"My 'girls' have told me that they'd love to watch me play at home and in the BBL," he said. "It will be great for us to be a part of the BBL as a family, and it is something that I am really looking forward to sharing with them."

The southpaw, who will end his nine-year BBL absence and be available for at least five matches in the 12th edition of the tournament early next year, has reportedly been given a deal worth around what the top overseas players will fetch in the draft later this month.

A significant portion of his salary will be paid by Cricket Australia (CA) outside the Thunder's AUD1.9m cap, said a report in cricket.com.au.

The 35-year-old, who last played in the BBL in December 2013, was reportedly planning to compete in the new UAE T20 league, which is set to clash with the BBL in early-January 2023, but now he will be available to play in the Thunder's final five regular season matches following the Sydney Test against South Africa before the Kangaroos embark on a four-Test tour of India.

"Warner will join the Thunder after his international commitments end at the completion of January's Sydney Test and could be available for as many as five regular season matches -- including the summer's second blockbuster Sydney Smash against the Sixers -- and the finals," said a Thunder statement on Sunday.

The Thunder play the reigning champion Perth Scorchers at Sydney Showground Stadium on January 13, before matches at Blundstone Arena against the Hurricanes (January 15), Manuka Oval against the Renegades on January 19, the Sixers at the SCG on January 21 and the Stars at the MCG on January 25.

It will be the third time the opener will represent the Thunder, having previously played just one game in both BBL-1 and BBL-3. In those games he tore the opposition apart, plundering 102 not out in a match winning knock against the Melbourne Stars in Thunder's first-ever BBL match, before scoring 50 from 31 balls against Sydney Sixers when in a losing side two seasons later.

The veteran of 96 Tests, 133 ODIs and 91 T20 matches for Australia, said he was determined to give back to the game.

"I'm really excited to get back to the Big Bash with the club where I started," Warner said. "I care deeply about the game, and I am conscious that the conditions that I enjoy as a professional cricketer have largely come from other senior players who have come before me.

"That is how the game is structured and I understand that my contribution to the future of the BBL will hopefully benefit the next generation of players long after I am retired."

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