David Warner could have been captain for the Sydney Thunder in his Big Bash return on Friday.
But the veteran star said “wiping” his fight against a lifetime leadership ban last December was the catalyst for freeing up his mind to make a drought-breaking double-century in Melbourne and enjoy his ”final 12 months” of Test cricket.
Warner, 36, didn’t confirm when his last day in a baggy green would be, with the potential to play on to the next home summer still lingering following tours to India and then England in 2023. His time in the ODI side also looks set to end after November’s World Cup.
But ahead of his first BBL game in more than 3,300 days, he signalled his strong intent to bat on in the national T20 team until the 2024 World Cup ”if selected” ensuring he’ll be a fixture in the tournament for some time to come.
“Yeah, definitely, we’ve moved on from that,” Warner said on Thursday when asked if he’d put his captaincy fight behind him.
“I wiped that straight away, I let go of it as soon as we made that decision and I’m in a great space now and hopefully that continues for the next 12 months.
“It’s a time now where I can give back. This is the last year of my international career potentially. We’ve got a World Cup coming up. I’ve mentioned before it will most likely be my last year.
“I’ve signed for this year and next year (in the BBL). I’ve got my sights set on the 2024 (T20) World Cup as well in the Americas. That would be nice to top it off with a win, pending selection.”
In his incredibly brief three game BBL career, two of which have been Sydney derbies, Warner has ridden the highs and lows of T20.
He belted an unbeaten 102 off just 50 balls against a Melbourne Stars attack including the late Shane Warne in the competition’s second ever game in 2011.
The next season he crossed to the Sydney Sixers and made a duck in his one game before going back to the Thunder and making 50 in what would be his last game in nine seasons.
Warner conceded there was no clear answer to get Australia’s Test stars in the Big Bash annually, and declared those who gave it a miss, like he had done before signing a special contract with Cricket Australia, should be respected.
“We are cricketers, we are well compensated, but the guys need some time at home,” he said.
“It’s not easy to do if you are playing all three formats.
“Me and my family have been through that. I’m at the back end. It’s very challenging. It has it’s moments but I encourage everyone to respect that.”