David Warner will enter next months Twenty20 World Cup with little preparation after all but confirming he will not play for Sunrisers Hyderabad again this Indian Premier League season.
Australia’s opener was left out of the team for his side’s seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals – the second time he has been dropped this year after he lost the captaincy to Kane Williamson in May before the league’s suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The 34-year-old left-hander watched from his Dubai hotel room as England’s Jason Roy stepped into his place and hit an impressive 42-ball 60, before responding on Instagram to a fan who encouraged him to rest before returning.
“Unfortunately won’t be again, but please keep supporting,” was Warner reply, which appears to have since been deleted.
Warner’s run-scoring exploits at Hyderabad have made him perhaps the most successful of all IPL exports, ranking fifth in the the annual T20 league’s all-time list – the highest of all international players to have featured.
But he has been out of sorts with the bat since the restart, caught and bowled for zero and then two against Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings respectively last week.
With last-placed Hyderabad out of contention for the play-offs, the team’s Australian coach Trevor Bayliss said Warner and a few other more senior players were left out to give an opportunity to their younger counterparts.
“We can’t make the final so have made a decision that we want the young players to experience not just the matches but time at the ground, around the set-up, and for this match we made the decision,” Bayliss said.
“He was not the only experienced player we left back at the hotel. We have a number of young players that haven’t been to the ground. Even as reserves. We wanted to give them an opportunity to come along and experience that. That may continue for a few more games yet.”
The IPL had meant to serve as match preparation for key Australians leading up to the T20 World Cup due to start on 17 October in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. But the country’s chances of winning the tournament for the first time have taken a hit with muted performances, exclusions and injuries. The exception has been Glenn Maxwell, who made 56 off 37 balls for Royal Challengers Bangalore against Mumbai Indians on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Perth may not be able to hold an Ashes Test over Australia’s home summer due to Covid restrictions, according to sports minister Richard Colbeck.
Perth is scheduled to host the fifth and final Test from 14 January but Colbeck said the Western Australia capital may miss out because of the state’s strict quarantine requirements as players would not want to quarantine for 14 days after playing the fourth Test in Covid-hit Sydney.
“We’ve had to do a lot of work to organise quarantine arrangements for cricketers coming into Australia,” Colbeck told Perth radio station 6PR. “There’s serious questions about whether there’ll be a Test match in Perth this summer. If there’s no chance of coming here without prolonged quarantine, it just won’t occur.”
WA Cricket boss Christina Matthews said the sport’s state governing body had asked CA to move the Perth match forward in the schedule to avoid the quarantine snag.
Cricket Australia says it is still planning for all Tests to proceed as scheduled, starting in Brisbane on 8 December before Adelaide (16 December), Melbourne (26 December) and Sydney (5 January).
England players have threatened to pull out of the series if forced to adhere to Australia’s strict quarantine regime and have sought assurances their families can travel and tour with them. This week England’s Test captain Joe Root refused to confirm his participation.