Cricket Australia's bombshell offer to David Warner amid fears of T20 exodus

David Warner walks from the field after losing his wicket.
Cricket Australia is negotiating an offer reportetdly worth up to $500,000 for David Warner to play in the BBL this season. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Cricket Australia is poised to make David Warner a lucrative financial offer in a bid to keep the batsman on home soil for this summer's Big Bash League competition.

More than 70 international players have signed up for the first Big Bash draft this year, however Warner's name is not among them despite Australia's planned ODI series against South Africa in January being scrapped.

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Instead, Warner has asked for permission to join the new T20 league being established in the United Arab Emirates.

The Australian Test opener hasn't played a BBL game since 2013, and is contracted to the Indian Premier League's Dehli Capitals.

The Capitals own a team in the planned UAE league, with Warner set for a potential windfall of up to $2.1 million if his request is approved.

Under the terms of his current Cricket Australia contract, Warner would be forbidden from playing in the UAE competition - but this hasn't stopped CA from considering upping offers not just to Warner, but some of Australia's other big T20 names in order to keep them on home soil this summer.

Warner, alongside the likes of Marcus Stoinis and Glenn Maxwell, could be offered deals worth as much as $500,000 for the season according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Attracting high-profile Australian players to the BBL is believed to be a part of CA's strategy to prevent legal action being taken against them by TV broadcast partner Channel 7, who have reportedly been unhappy with the standard of competition since acquiring the broadcast rights.

Warner's manager James Erskine told the Channel 9 papers that negotiations with CA were ongoing.

“We’re working with Cricket Australia to achieve the best outcome for everyone,” Erskine said.

“My advice to David regarding his international career is to go out on his own terms.”

CA will be under substantial pressure to discourage high-profile players from taking up lucrative contracts in the UAE and with other domestic T20 leagues.

Former Test great Adam Gilchrist said it would be a shame not to see Australia's best showing their skills on home soil.

With the cancelled ODI series against South Africa opening up opportunities, Gilchrist said CA had to get this right, or they could face serious consequences.

“This is the big kicker, isn’t it, of possibly being in the step towards being contracted to the club before or over country for the predominant amount of cricket you play,” he told SEN.

“I think it would almost be commercial suicide for (Cricket Australia) to allow a player like (Warner) to go head-to-head up against their own competition."

David Warner mulling over potential UAE move over Big Bash League

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

"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," Gilchrist said.

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

But the BBL has lured some names to Australian shores, with big-hitter Liam Livingstone and emerging gun Ollie Pope among the English nominees.

While Livingstone has impressed in the past for Perth Scorchers, he'll have to go through the draft having not played with the side in the last two seasons.

Nine English players are eligible for retention by their current BBL clubs, including Melbourne Stars' Joe Clarke, Sydney Thunders' Alex Hales and Sydney Sixers' James Vince.

The draft will be on August 28, with Melbourne Renegades enjoying the first pick.

David Warner hasn't played in the BBL since 2013, with Cricket Australia desperate to get the Test opener back into the competition. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)
David Warner hasn't played in the BBL since 2013, with Cricket Australia desperate to get the Test opener back into the competition. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

Warner's wife Candice revealed last year that her husband is unlikely to ever play in his local competition again due to a lifetime leadership ban imposed by Cricket Australia.

Warner is banned from holding a leadership position at any level of Australian cricket for his role in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in 2018.

Candice also said the extended length of the BBL makes shorter overseas leagues more attractive to Warner as it means he can spend more time with his young family.

Last week, cricket reporter Daniel Brettig said Warner should retire from international duties if he asks Cricket Australia for a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) in order to play in the UAE league.

“Pretty simple for Warner. If he genuinely wants to play in new UAE league in peak Aust summer in January then he needs to retire from international cricket," Brettig wrote on Twitter.

"CA would be making an extraordinary and unprecedented concession to give him an NOC unless he does that first."

With AAP

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