David Warner announces retirement from ODIs, shifts focus to T20Is

Australia’s David Warner has announced his retirement from One-day International (ODI) cricket alongside the end of his Test career completing another chapter in his illustrious career.

Australia’s David Warner has announced his retirement from One-day International (ODI) cricket alongside the end of his Test career completing another chapter in his illustrious career.

In a press conference held on Monday, Australian cricket stalwart Warner officially announced his retirement from ODI cricket. The veteran opener confirmed that the recent World Cup final against India marked his last 50-over appearance for Australia, where they clinched an upset victory in November.

“I’m definitely retiring from One-day cricket as well,” he said at the SCG on Monday. “That was something that I had said through the World Cup, get through that, and winning it in India, I think that’s a massive achievement.

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“So I’ll make that decision today, to retire from those forms, which does allow me to go and play some other leagues around the world and sort of get the One-day team moving forward a little bit. I know there’s a Champions Trophy coming up. If I’m playing decent cricket in two years’ time and I’m around and they need someone, I’m going to be available.”

Warner, 37, revealed that his decision to retire from ODIs was made after the World Cup triumph in India, where he played a pivotal role as Australia’s leading run-scorer. The announcement comes as Warner prepares for his final Test match at his hometown SCG and sets the stage for the last phase of his career as a T20 freelancer.

“It was a decision that I was very, very comfortable with,” he said. “To win in India, from where we were, was absolutely amazing.

“When we lost two games in a row in India, the bond just got stronger with each other and it’s not by fluke or by chance that we were able to get to where we were. The heroics of Maxi (Glenn Maxwell), the captaincy and the skills and execution of the way that we played against India was phenomenal, and not to dismiss the Kolkata semi-final as well.”

The left-hander, a two-time ODI World Cup champion, bows out with an impressive record of 6,932 runs at an average of 45.30, including 22 centuries. Only Ricky Ponting, another Australian cricket legend, has scored more ODI centuries among Australians. Warner expressed his contentment with the decision, stating, “It might not just be me (retiring), but no one (else has) said anything, so I think it just is me. But it was a decision that I was very comfortable with.”

While Warner bids farewell to ODIs, he remains available for T20 cricket and aims to feature in Australia’s World Cup campaign in the T20 format in June, scheduled to take place in the Caribbean and the USA. After the ongoing Test series finale against Pakistan, Warner will play at least four games for the Sydney Thunder before possibly joining his ILT20 side, the Dubai Capitals, later in the month. He seeks a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Cricket Australia for his participation in the Middle East T20 league.

Warner’s decision not to participate in Australia’s three-match ODI series against West Indies and possibly the ensuing T20I series reflects a growing trend among veteran players, considering the increasing lure of domestic T20 leagues. He hinted at the possibility of more players from the World Cup-winning Australian team following suit.

Despite his Test cricket returns diminishing over the past three years, Warner remains a force in white-ball cricket, holding an IPL contract with the Delhi Capitals and becoming one of the most sought-after players in the domestic T20 circuit.

Looking ahead, Warner expressed his interest in playing the Big Bash League (BBL) next year, balancing it with his commentary commitments for Fox Cricket. He emphasized the importance of not hindering the team’s performance or upsetting the balance while pursuing multiple roles.

Reflecting on the changing landscape of cricket, Warner highlighted the financial appeal of T20 cricket, expressing gratitude for not having to make the tough decisions faced by today’s younger players. He acknowledged the challenges for the current generation with numerous opportunities and significant financial incentives associated with T20 leagues.

(IANS)