Sydney Thunder secure David Warner’s return to Big Bash League
David Warner returns to the Big Bash League with the Sydney Thunder in Australia’s biggest hit at Australian cricket competition in years.
Warner ended months of speculation about her involvement in the tournament on Sunday by announcing a two-year deal with the Thunder.
One of the most salable actors in the country, Warner hasn’t appeared on the BBL since the third edition of the competition in December 2013.
Since then, his decision not to play has remained a moot point with CA wanting to have the best talent available.
This problem has come to a head in recent months, with officials desperately trying to restore the tournament to its former glory after two rough summers during the pandemic.
Warner’s involvement has been at the center of discussions between him and CA since returning from touring Sri Lanka, with CEO Nick Hockley heavily involved.
The deal with the Thunder came after Warner was also linked to a transfer to the UAE’s Twenty20 league, which was able to offer big bucks for overseas stars.
But Warner said on Sunday she is aware of the importance of playing BBL for the sake of the game in Australia.
“I’m really excited to be returning to Big Bash with the club I started at,” Warner said.
“I care deeply about the game and am aware that the conditions I enjoy as a professional cricket player come largely from other senior players who have come before me.
“This is the way the game is structured and I understand that my contribution to the future of BBL will benefit the next generation of players long after my retirement.”
Warner will be available for up to five games this season plus the finals, with the Australian multi-format stars airing in January in the absence of international cricket.
The opening half has only played three games in BBL history, two for the Thunder in 2011-12 and 2013-14, and one for the Sydney Sixers in 2012-13.
He scored 101 points in the opening of the tournament, while he also scored 50 in his match with the Sixers.
Warner’s return speech also focused on the possible lifting of a team manager’s life ban, imposed by the CA after the ball tampering scandal in 2018.
The Thunder said on Sunday that no decision had been made about their captain, after Usman Khawaja moved north to the Brisbane Heat.
Warner’s return comes the same week that Marnus Labuschagne signed with the Heat, while Travis Head signed a new contract with the Adelaide Strikers.
Steve Smith’s willingness remains in the air as he plans to play for the Sixers, while speedy Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have previously said they want to rest and not play.
Josh Hazlewood, Scott Boland and Cameron Green are the other middle contract players without a deal for the BBL season.