David Warner exposes ugly truth for Cricket Australia in $2.1m snub

·6-min read
David Warner, pictured here with wife Candice and their children.
David Warner's wife Candice has previously revealed that he's more likely to play in the UAE league than the BBL. Image: Getty

Aussie legend Adam Gilchrist has warned Cricket Australia it would be 'commercial suicide' to allow David Warner a release to play in the new T20 league in the UAE this summer.

Warner has reportedly asked Cricket Australia for permission to play in the new UAE T20 league, in a move that would see the Aussie star snub the BBL.

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With Australia's ODI series against South Africa in January now cancelled, BBL organisers were hoping to see the country's international players feature in the back half of the T20 tournament.

But according to The Australian, Warner wants to skip the BBL and play in the UAE instead.

The United Arab Emirates T20 league is backed by the BCCI in India, with a number of teams owned by IPL franchises - the Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals.

The new league clashes with the BBL between January 6 and February 12 and is reportedly offering three-year contracts worth $2.1 million for participants.

Warner hasn't played in the BBL since 2013 and doesn't have a contract with any team, but does have a deal with the Delhi Capitals.

Admitting it would be a huge blow for Australian cricket as authorities try to bring their stars back to the BBL, Gilchrist said Warner's reported snubbing of his local league continued the changing face of global cricket.

"I think it would almost be commercial suicide for them (Cricket Australia) to allow a player like him (Warner) to go head-to-head up against their own competition," Gilchrist told SEN radio on Tuesday.

"They can't force David Warner to play in the BBL, I understand that, but to let him then go off ... it's all part of this global dominance that these IPL franchises are starting to create given they own a number of teams in the Caribbean Premier League as well."

IPL franchises also own the six teams competing in a new South African T20 league that will also run in direct competition to the BBL this summer.

David Warner, pictured here in action for the Sydney Thunder in the BBL in 2013.
David Warner in action for the Sydney Thunder in the BBL in 2013. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

South Africa withdraw from their ODI series against Australia in January so its players could feature in the new T20 league.

"It's getting a little bit dangerous the grip that it's having to monopolise that ownership and the ownership of the players and their talents and where they can and can't play," Gilchrist said.

"If (Warner) rides off into the sunset and says, 'sorry Australian cricket, I'm going to become a gun for hire for my Indian franchise team in various tournaments', you can't question him on that, that's his prerogative and he's done everything he needs to get the profile and get that market value.

"It's the new younger player coming in that starts to make those noises where it'll be really challenging.

"Perhaps it's the first example where David Warner doesn't sign a contract with Cricket Australia at all, he just plays for a match fee.

"He goes and plays whatever he wants but says, 'I'm available for every Test match, for every one-day international and every T20 international', by way of example, I'll be there for you in national colours.

"But other than that, I'm going to play my club, my franchise cricket, wherever I want to knowing that none of those big tournaments will be clashing with international cricket."

Candice Warner, pictured here with husband David.
Candice Warner previously revealed why David won't play BBL again. (Photo by Kelly Defina/Getty Images)

David Warner reluctant to play in BBL

Speaking last year, Warner's wife Candice said her husband was unlikely to ever play in the BBL again because of his lifetime leadership ban and the length of the tournament.

Warner is banned from holding a leadership position within Australian cricket for the rest of his career because of his role in the ball-tampering scandal in 2018.

“At this stage, when David decides to retire from Test cricket, he won’t play Big Bash,” Candice Warner said last December.

“And that’s really disappointing for the Australian fans and kids and anyone who loves T20 cricket - the fact that David Warner will never play Big Bash again.

“You also have to consider that there’s so many leagues around the world that are shorter than the Big Bash.

“The Big Bash is a very long tournament. There are tournaments in Dubai in January that may be a better option with the family. David can still be with us Christmas and fly to Dubai early January for a shorter period of time."

The Cricket Australia board has reportedly discussed lifting Warner's leadership ban in a bid to lure him back to playing in the BBL.

Current Test captain Pat Cummins and Aussie legend Allan Border are among the many to call for Warner's ban to be overturned in recent times.

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