Australian superstar David Warner is set to return to Big Bash League (BBL) for the first time since 2013 as he confirmed signing with Sydney Thunder. The 35-year-old is expected to be available for the franchise following the Sydney Test against South Africa. The Aussie Test side will then depart for India for a four-Test tour.
Notably, Warner, who last appeared in the BBL in December 2013, had to choose between participation in the new UAE T20 tournament – ILT20, which would clash with the BBL in January. But, the New South Wales cricketer credited his daughters for the decision to stay in Australia and return to his former BBL club.
“My ‘girls’ have told me that they’d love to watch me play at home and in the BBL. 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,” said Warner, as quoted by cricket.com.au.
“I care deeply about the game, and I am conscious that the conditions 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,” he added.
Thunder Head Coach Trevor Bayliss reckoned Warner’s signing would leave a massive impact on the BBL as the left-handed batter is an inspiration to many kids who aspire to be a cricketer.
“Davey’s record on the field speaks for itself, and I have no doubt he already has, and will continue to, inspire many, many kids to play and love cricket. He is also a passionate and committed family man, and that aligns very well with Thunder’s culture and the family nature of the Thunder Nation supporters. The club has a tremendous group of young talented batters and leaders, with the likes of Jason Sangha, Ollie Davies, Matt Gilkes and Baxter Holt. They will all benefit greatly from Davey’s experience and guidance,” said Bayliss.
Apart from Warner, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne have signed contracts with Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat, respectively. Similarly, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc will skip the competition in order to manage their workload.