David Warner's commentary debut for Fox Cricket hasn't exactly won over fans after the Aussie star made a cameo in the box in the BBL on Monday night. Warner was in commentary with Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh as the Hobart Hurricanes took on the Melbourne Stars.
Warner will suit up for the Sydney Thunder in his first appearance in the BBL in nine years, but before he takes the field he's doing some commentary. The move from player to commentator is a tricky one, with a number of Aussie greats succeeding and many more failing.
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Warner's debut began with a cheeky cheap shot from Waugh as the former Aussie batter reminded Warner of his role in Marnus Labuschagne's runout in the first Test against South Africa. After Warner revealed how two of his daughters are massive fans of Labuschagne, Waugh said "is that why you ran him out?"
Warner laughed: "Let's not go there too early. It's my first day, come on."
Waugh later commented that Warner "was starting to sound like a commentator" after the Aussie opener questioned why the umpire had reviewed a runout that was clearly not out. Warner shot back: "I've been listening to you."
Time will tell whether Warner is a hit in the commentary box. However the overwhelming response from fans on social media suggested his debut fell flat on Monday night.
On the field, a career-best T20 score from Caleb Jewell helped the Hurricanes boost their finals hopes and piled more misery on the Stars. Jewell made 70 off 44 balls as the Hurricanes passed the Stars' total of 7-131 with 14 balls to spare.
The win moves Hobart level on points with the fifth-placed Adelaide Strikers, while the loss leaves the bottom of the ladder Stars with just two victories from nine games.
David Warner's move to commentary after retirement
After announcing Warner was joining the Fox Sports commentary team last month, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany said: “I think it’s not possible to replace Shane (Warne) and Andrew (Symonds).
“We’ve thought long and hard about what we might do with the coverage. When you’ve got names like Gilchrist and (Isa) Guha, (Mike) Hussey, (Allan) Border, Waugh, Mel Jones, it’s a very, very big team. If you had one shot though at a commentator of the current crop to replace those two, you’d probably have to say Dave Warner is the name.
“He’s a brawler, he’s a fighter, he’s exciting. From the moment he stepped out on the pitch, I remember in the Big Bash in 2011 when he first came to real dominance, we’re very glad that we’ve now signed him for now and the future. I think he’ll be a very, very good cricket commentator.”
Fox Sports Executive Director Steve Crawley said: “When he came out to bat you could double your audience. He made cricket exciting.
“And he’s the same in the twilight of his career as he was in the beginning - a swashbuckling, fearless individual. I’ve been around sports broadcasting a long time and believe David Warner is made for commentary the same he was made to open the batting.”
Warner reportedly has a spot on the commentary team assured for when he announces his retirement from international cricket.
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