Australian cricket superstar David Warner has reportedly turned his back on the Big Bash League, instead seeking permission to participate in a newly-established T20 competition in the sub-continent.

Earlier this month, South Africa officially withdrew from a three-match ODI series against Australia in January, meaning the country’s international stars will be available for the second half of the BBL.

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But as reported by The Australian, Warner has instead requested to play in the UAE’s new T20 league this January, once again snubbing the Big Bash.

According to the News Corp report, the UAE tournament is understood to be offering three-year contracts worth AU$2.1 million for participants.

Warner, who led the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League for several years, is banned from any captaincy position in the BBL due to his role in the infamous Cape Town ball-tampering saga.

While former Test captain Steve Smith, who was also punished for the incident, had his leadership ban lifted two years ago, Warner’s lifetime leadership suspension remains intact, despite recent suggestions Cricket Australia might be considering a change of heart.

The 35-year-old, arguably Australia’s most successful T20 cricketer in history, has not played a Big Bash match in nearly nine years.

Warner has accumulated 10,870 T20 runs, smacking eight centuries and 91 fifties in the game’s shortest format.

He was named player of the tournament for last year’s triumphant T20 World Cup campaign, while he has finished as the IPL’s highest run-scorer on three occasions.

Australian cricket legend Allan Border wants Warner’s leadership ban dissolved, saying the New South Wales batter has “paid his penance” for an action that is common in the sport.

“It was a harsh penalty in the first place … let’s get on with it; they’ve served their time,” he said earlier this week.

“I know that every other side’s doing exactly what we were caught doing. (If) all the captains put their hand on their heart and say ‘I wasn’t doing anything similar’, they’d be telling ‘porky pies’ (lies).

“The bans those boys copped were a bit over the top for the crime, given the knowledge around the cricket fraternity where this has been going on.

“They all had to change the way they went about their cricket.”

Although CA would be desperate to ensure the sport’s biggest names can make an appearance in the BBL this summer, paceman Mitchell Starc has already decided he won’t be signing for any franchise.

“I have always enjoyed the BBL when I have played it … but my approach with all franchise cricket hasn‘t changed over the last seven years,” Starc told AAP earlier this month.

“My approach to the IPL, BBL, I have looked at the Australian schedule and wanting to be as fit and well-performed for that as I can.

“And franchise cricket has taken a back seat.”

The loss of Warner and Starc is a huge blow for CA – the BBL has been starved of international-quality talent after the last two summers were plagued by Covid-19.

Last month, The Daily Telegraph reported that broadcaster Channel 7 had launched Federal Court action against CA in a bid to terminate its TV rights deal.

According to the News Corp report, Seven is adamant the cricketers that featured in last summer’s BBL were not of a high enough quality for the competition to meet the standard provisions stipulated in CA’s TV rights contract.

However, the Big Bash has already secured the services of former South African captain Faf du Plessis and Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan, while Australian stars Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Swepson, Nathan Lyon and Alex Carey have also signed for their respective BBL franchises.

On Wednesday afternoon, CA revealed 70 English players have nominated for next month’s BBL Draft, including international batter Liam Livingstone.

“The standard of nominations for the KFC BBL|12 Draft from England is exceptional, headlined by the likes of Liam Livingstone and Alex Hales, two of the world’s leading T20 players,” Trent Woodhill, Big Bash Leagues’ Player Acquisition and Cricket Consultant, said in a statement.

“The list is also filled with players who have shown outstanding recent form in other recent domestic competitions. We know England is a proven producer of top T20 talent.

“We look forward to some robust discussion around these players on Draft night, particularly in regard to the retention picks, with a number of those eligible making a strong case for selection.”

English nominations for BBL Draft

Rehan Ahmed, Martin Andersson, Gus Atkinson, Josh Baker, Sonny Baker, Jake Ball, James Bracey, Danny Briggs, Henry Brookes, Brydon Carse, Matthew Carter, Jordan Clark, Joe Clarke, Josh Cobb, Ian Cockbain, Jordan Cox, Mason Crane, Matt Critchley, Liam Dawson, Brett D‘Oliveira, Leus Du Plooy, Stephen Eskinazi, Laurie Evans, Matt Fisher, James Fuller, George Garton, Richard Gleeson, Lewis Gregory, Sam Hain, Alex Hales, Miles Hammond, Tom Hartley, Jack Haynes, Freddie Heldreich, Tom Helm, Ryan Higgins, Max Holden, Benny Howell, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Danny Lamb, Jack Leaning, Jake Lintott, Liam Livingstone, Lewis McManus, Ben Mike, Tymal Mills, Daniel Mousley, Steven Mullaney, Callum Parkinson, Matt Parkinson, David Payne, Michael Pepper, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ben Raine, Adam Rossington, George Scrimshaw, John Simpson, Prem Sisodiya, Olly Stone, Tommy Taylor, Reece Topley, Liam Trevaskis, James Vince, Joe Weatherley, Ross Whiteley, Chris Wood, Luke Wood, Saif Zaib

– with NCA NewsWire

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