David Warner set to miss West Indies white-ball matches for ILT20

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David Warner is expected to miss the white-ball portion of West Indies’ tour of Australia in February as he looks to start maximising his T20 league availability following Test retirement in Sydney next week.

Warner is set to play in the BBL for Sydney Thunder after his last Test against Pakistan, although there remains some doubt as to whether he would be available for the finals should Thunder qualify.

The chief executive of the Australian Cricketers’ Association indicated on Thursday that he expected Warner to apply for a No Objection Certificate to play in the ILT20. “I think the short answer to that is probably yes,” Todd Greenberg told SEN when asked if Warner would miss some home cricket. “I know he’s pretty committed to the BBL.

“There’s no doubt in the next phase of Dave’s life he’s going to be looking to ply his trade where he gets the best return on his investment. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, in fact I’m encouraging him to do that.

“There will be times where he’ll be looking to miss certain games and tours. That’s the sort of flexibility we’ve got to get our heads around. Some people won’t like that, but that’s the modern world of which we’re living in and we have to embrace it.”

Warner being unavailable for international duty in favour of a domestic T20 deal would be the most significant occurrence of its type in Australian cricket.

However, ESPNcricinfo understands that the selectors had long-planned that Warner and other senior players might not play the series against West Indies. But they will select a full-strength side for the T20Is in New Zealand in preparation for June’s World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA, with Warner expected to be part of that. The first match of the New Zealand series is on February 21 in Wellington.

The management and selectors also see the IPL as a valuable part of the T20 World Cup preparation for those who have earned deals, which now includes Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc.

The ODIs against West Indies mark the start of a new four-year cycle towards the 2027 World Cup, which would seem a long shot for Warner, although he did float the notion of playing on to that event after Australia’s victory in India last month.

During the recent World Cup, Warner said he would not be taking a Cricket Australia central contract next year to give himself more freedom.

“I won’t be taking a contract, definitely not,” Warner said. “How the system works in Australia is that if you play five [T20] games or ODIs, or three Tests, you get upgraded and then you’re legally bound by contracting system with sponsors and stuff.

“That’s something that becomes a bit of a pain in the backside, especially at my stage of my career. So I don’t want to be signed to that agreement and that’s something I have to think about moving forward, because if you’re going to get a low contract, it’s going to cost you a lot in the long run with sponsorships.”


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