Warner to skip BBL as draft entries climb

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Nominations for next month's BBL Draft continue to roll in with 70 English players throwing their names in the hat, but star Australia batsman David Warner appears poised to skip the tournament.

The threat of a competing league looms large and might take the shine off Australia's competition, with reports suggesting Warner has requested to play in the January's UAE T20 league.

It's a blow for the BBL as they hope to lure the country's gun internationals to the league, the BBL running from December 13 until February 4, clashing with the UAE competition which will be held from January 6 to February 12.

Warner hasn't played BBL since 2013 and doesn't have a contract with any team, but does have a deal with Indian Premier League side Delhi Capitals, who also own a side in the UAE league.

Admitting it was a huge blow for Australian cricket as authorities try and bring their stars back to the BBL, former Test great Adam 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 told SEN.

"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.

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