David Warner Returns to Big Bash League With Sydney Thunder

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David Warner Returns to Big Bash League
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David Warner Returns to Big Bash League: With a two-year contract for his former team Sydney Thunder, David Warner will make his first appearance in the BBL since 2013. After the South Africa ODI series was postponed in January to make room for Australia’s multi-format players, the Australian reported late last month that Warner would like to play in the new ILT20 league in the UAE rather than the BBL.

That started a series of circumstances that quickly came to pass, and as a result, Warner will rejoin the team for which he has been in two of his career’s three BBL games. After the last Test against South Africa in early January, he should be eligible for five regular-season games and the playoffs if Thunder advance that far.

Warner claimed to be aware of the wider picture and the significance of the BBL to the Australian game as a whole.

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.”

Warner’s contract is expected to pay AUD340,000, matching that of the platinum players in the upcoming BBL draft, with some of the money coming from Thunder’s salary ceiling and the rest from CA.

Warner’s endorsement is a big win for the BBL and CA in general, given they are engaged in a legal dispute with host broadcaster Channel Seven that primarily concerns the calibre of the competition. As the BBL tries to compete with the riches available overseas, it is also likely to be the beginning of Australia’s top players being paid significantly more to participate in the league.

In three seasons from 2011 to 2013, Warner made three previous BBL appearances. In his first game at the MCG against the Melbourne Stars, he scored a century. The season after, he played for the crosstown rival Sydney Sixers and recorded a duck against the Thunder. Then, in a game his team lost in 2013, while playing once again for the Thunder, he hit a half-century against the Sixers and shared a century-opening stand with Khawaja.

Last week, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne extended their contracts with respective organisations, while Steven Smith declined Sixers’ original offer as he deliberated on whether or not he would like to take a break before the tour to India.

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