David Warner would love to remain with Sunrisers Hyderabad next season, but he admits that might not happen, after being benched for their last five games of IPL 2021. He insists, however, that his fans will have plenty to look forward to in the “long time I have left”.
Sunrisers removed Warner from the captaincy midway through the tournament, just before the India leg came to a halt because of Covid-19. They replaced him with Kane Williamson, who had first taken over the captaincy in 2018 when Warner was serving a year-long ban for his role in the Newlands ball-tampering episode. During the second leg of IPL 2021 in the UAE, Warner featured in just two of the Sunrisers’ seven games, before being left out altogether.
In one of those games, Warner wasn’t even part of the contingent that travelled to the ground, which led to speculation of a fallout with the team management, before head coach Trevor Bayliss confirmed that he wasn’t the only senior player left behind at the team hotel.
Warner was cagey on what led to his sacking as captain, but he has expressed hurt at how he was treated over the course of the season. Having captained Sunrisers to the 2016 title and scored over 4000 runs for them over eight seasons, Warner felt he needed answers from the team management, but wasn’t sure they would be forthcoming.
Having averaged over 39 in each of his previous seven seasons at the franchise – while striking at over 140 in six of them – Warner endured a disappointing 2021, scoring 195 runs in eight innings at an average of 24.37 and a strike rate of 107.73.
“Look, I’m not 100% sure,” Warner told Sports Today, when asked about what led to his sacking and eventual axing from the team. “With utmost respect for the owners, Trevor Bayliss, [VVS] Laxman, Tom Moody and Murali [Muthiah Muralidaran], when a decision gets made, it has to be unanimous. But you don’t know who is going for you, who wants you the selected, who doesn’t. End of the day you’re told you’re not playing.
“The disappointing thing for me was not being explained why I was dropped as captain. I think if you want to go along the lines of form, it’s a difficult one because I guess whatever you’ve done in the past would have some weightage moving forward, especially when you’ve played 100  games for the franchise.
“I had four bad games, two run-outs in that, on slow and low wickets in Chennai. It’s difficult, a bitter pill to swallow but I don’t think I will ever get answers and must move on. It’s time to look forward, there’s another auction coming up. I’d love nothing more than to represent Sunrisers still, but the decision remains with the owners and what direction the franchise wants to go in.”
Warner seems to have recognised that it’s time to move on from Sunrisers, however – a recent Instagram post in which he thanked the team’s fans for their support over “a great ride” suggested as much.
“Sometimes you get the feeling that you’re not going to be retained by a franchise, with little signs that you could see in and around the group,” he said. “From my perspective, I could see the writing was on the wall, and it was an appropriate time to say thank you [to the fans on social media].”
With the addition of two new teams set to make the IPL a 10-team event from 2022, Warner could become a hot pick at the auction. And he would be happy to take over leadership responsibilities if asked to.
“[Captaincy] is definitely something I love doing,” he said. “It makes me play a lot better, also having had a taste of it in this [IPL] environment makes it easier as well. I shared that role at Sunrisers with Kane [Williamson] a fair bit, it was also great to have other leaders in and around the franchise.
“He [Williamson] was one guy I had a lot of chats with, Jason Holder is another guy. Rashid Khan as well, he has captained Afghanistan. These are guys with whom you can share knowledge and rebound information on and off. I would be thrilled to do that [captain a side] if it came up, it’s all about getting a solid foundation together.
“If it did arise, I’d love to do it. A person of my character can get people up and about. I’m energetic, I call a spade a spade, I would love every individual to perform at their best and hold everyone accountable to their actions.”
No matter which team it’s at, and whether it’s as captain or not, Warner is raring to be back at the IPL next year.
“Obviously I’d love to be part of the IPL in 2022. I obviously started my career at Delhi, played with Sunrisers and yet the final chapter of my career, I still have a long time left in these leagues, and there are plenty of runs left. I’ll be looking forward to whatever opportunities present itself and I’ll give it my 100%.”
South Africa vs Netherlands 2021
Although Netherlands are unable to catch a flight out, it is understood the players have communicated they are not in the right mental state to play
Although Netherlands will be in South Africa for the duration of the series because they are unable to catch a flight out, ESPNcricinfo understands that the players have communicated they are not in the right mental state to play. On Friday, their coach Ryan Campbell tweeted that the team played with “unbelievable pressure hanging over their heads,” after travel restrictions began to affect the southern African region.
“We are disappointed by the unfortunate situation we find ourselves in, but the comfort of all visiting teams must always be paramount,” Pholetsi Moseki, CSA’s acting CEO, said. “The mental well-being of players is one of CSA’s top priorities, and we respect our visitors’ position and point of view.
“CSA and KNCB will get into discussions around possibly rescheduling the tour within this cycle of the ICC Future Tours Programme ending in 2023.”
“We are saddened by these circumstances, but are grateful to Cricket South Africa for their assistance and understanding of our team’s position,” Jurgen Delfos, chairman of Netherlands cricket board, said. “
It must be made clear that the concerns are strictly over travel issues and how soon the team can get home and have nothing to do with the integrity of the Bio-Secure Environment (BSE) that CSA has successfully hosted. Our team has been pleased with every aspect of the organisation of the tour and have been well treated by our hosts.”
The United Kingdom, United States, much of Europe, Australia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand have all banned travel to and from countries in southern Africa, and imposed a quarantine on their own citizens returning from the region in response to Omicron.
News of a new variant was first made public on Tuesday, November 23 and cases in the Gauteng province of South Africa, where the Netherlands series is taking place, have increased severalfold since. Although South Africa is only reporting around 2,000 new cases a day, there are concerns this will rise exponentially and stricter restrictions are due to be introduced soon. South Africa is currently on Level 1 of 5 of its restrictions, the most lenient since the pandemic began, and the first ODI was the first time since March 2020 that cricket was played in front of a limited crowd, but the government is meeting on Saturday to discuss further measures.
As yet there is no indication of how this will affect the rest of the cricket calendar. India A are also in South Africa, playing first-class matches against South Africa A in Bloemfontein. So far, that series is continuing. India’s senior side is due to travel to South Africa for three Tests, three ODIs and four ODIs on December 8. India has not imposed any restrictions on southern African travelers to date, but has stricter testing measures for people from the region in place.
Last summer, South Africa’s season was severely impacted after England left the country early without playing the ODI leg of their white-ball tour and Australia pulled out of a four-Test series which was pencilled in as the marquee event of the summer. Sri Lanka and Pakistan both toured the country without incident in strict bio-bubble conditions, which Cricket South Africa will replicate for the India series.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
Recent Match Report – Scorchers Wm vs StrikersWmn Final 2021/22
The home side finished strongly with the bat and started superbly with the ball in the powerplay
Perth Scorchers 5 for 146 beat Adelaide Strikers 6 for 134 by 12 runs
The middle order did their best to keep Strikers in the match with useful hands but it proved out of reach despite Madeline Penna’s best efforts with 30 not out off 21 balls.
Kapp produced some superb deliveries to build the pressure on Strikers’ openers and it was Devine who earned the reward when Katie Mack’s extraordinary run of scoring was halted as he she drove to cover. Before this match Mack had made 332 runs in her last six innings for just one out.
Laura Wolvaardt and captain Tahlia McGrath rebuilt with a stand of 65 in eight overs which was forming a base from where Strikers could have run down the target. However, both fell within the space of six balls carving catches to the off-side ring which meant new batters had little time to get set.
The prolific Scorchers opening pair of Devine and Beth Mooney made a solid if unspectacular start after being put into bat, reaching 0 for 37 after the powerplay. They were immediately aggressive against Amanda-Jade Wellington who conceded more in her first four balls than she did the entire record-breaking Eliminator spell, although she would fight back well.
Neither opener could really cut loose and Strikers started to chip away at the top order. Mooney picked out mid-off, Devine was run out by a direct hit by Dane van Niekerk from short third and Chloe Piparo edged Darcie Brown who was rewarded for some rapid outswing bowling.
At 3 for 75 in the 12th the innings was at a tipping point and there was caution from Kapp and Heather Graham which threatened to leave Scorchers short. However, Kapp started to find the boundary and King made a dynamic late entrance with three boundaries in a five-ball stay.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo
Women’s World Cup Qualifier 2021-22 in Zimbabwe called off following concerns over new Covid-19 variant
The tournament cannot be rescheduled, as the ODI World Cup is scheduled for March-April 2022
The women’s ODI World Cup qualifying event in Zimbabwe has been called off after travel restrictions were imposed on large parts of southern Africa following the detection of a new Covid-19 variant, called Omicron, in the region. With the marquee event scheduled to take place next year in March and April, the qualifier cannot be held at a later date, and the three remaining spots will be decided according to the ICC rankings.
Hosts New Zealand, Australia, England, South Africa and India have already qualified for the tournament. They will now be joined by Bangladesh, West Indies and Pakistan.
ESPNcricinfo has learned that the cutoff date for the women’s ODI rankings taken into consideration for deciding on the final three teams for 2022 ODI World Cup was September 30. Between the start of the pandemic and August 31, 2021, Pakistan played eight ODIs, winning two, West Indies played 10, winning three and having one tied, while Ireland, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh played none. Bangladesh, however, are understood to have been well ahead of Ireland and Sri Lanka on the rankings for more than a year.
Concerns over the future of the qualifier were raised on Saturday morning when the match between Sri Lanka and West Indies was called off without a ball bowled. ESPNcricinfo understands that the fixture could not be played because a member of the Sri Lankan support staff had tested positive for Covid-19.
“We are incredibly disappointed to have to cancel the remainder of this event but with travel restrictions from a number of African countries being imposed at such short notice, there was a serious risk that teams would be unable to return home,” Chris Tetley, the ICC head of events, said.
“We have explored a number of options to allow us to complete the event but it isn’t feasible and we will fly the teams out of Zimbabwe as soon as possible. Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies will now qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 by virtue of their rankings, whilst Sri Lanka and Ireland will also join them in the next cycle of the ICC Women’s Championship.”
On the whole, Zimbabwe’s caseload remains relatively low at under 135,000, with fewer than 5000 deaths. However, with travel in and out of the country becoming increasingly difficult, the qualifier had to be scrapped for logistical reasons. Emirates Airline, which flew the teams into Harare, is understood to be suspending the route in the coming days.
The variant was first discovered in Botswana and has infected several hundred people in neighbouring South Africa, which is on the brink of a fourth wave of infection. The UK, USA, much of Europe, Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand have all suspended travel to and from countries in southern Africa, putting several international events in doubt.
India A are also in South Africa, playing first-class matches in Bloemfontein. So far, that series is known to be on schedule, since the region is regarded as safe. India’s senior side is due to travel to South Africa for three Tests, three ODIs and four ODIs on December 8. India has not imposed any restrictions on southern African travellers yet, but has installed stricter testing measures for people from the region.
Benfica win farcical Primeira Liga game 7-0 as opponents start with nine players
Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris start vs. Timberwolves on Saturday
Michael Carrick could spring big selection surprise for Man Utd's clash with Chelsea
Man Utd caretaker Michael Carrick fires Ralf Rangnick warning ahead of Chelsea
McLaren blunt message for Daniel Ricciardo, F1 news
Brighton boss Graham Potter fumes at own supporters after Leeds draw
Chelsea star Hakim Ziyech's Donny van de Beek warning as crunch Man Utd clash looms
Wander Franco finalizes $182 million, 11-year contract in ‘great day’ for Tampa Bay Rays
Pitch invader races towards Mohamed Salah and stopped by security after Liverpool victory
Hector Neris agrees to 2-year, $17M deal with Houston Astros
NFL6 days ago
What is your NFL team’s most heartbreaking loss? From ’28-3′ to the ‘Ice Bowl’ to ‘The Drive’
NBA4 days ago
Short-handed Philadelphia 76ers spoil Alvin Gentry’s debut as interim head coach of Sacramento Kings
NBA5 days ago
Lakers credit Carmelo Anthony for sparking post-tussle comeback vs. Pistons
NFL3 days ago
Minnesota Vikings DE Everson Griffen leaves home, getting care
Cricket4 days ago
WBBL round-up – Alana King reigns supreme as Sydney Sixers finish bottom for first time
MLB6 days ago
Milwaukee Brewers, catcher Pedro Severino agree to one-year, $1.9M deal
NFL3 days ago
Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers says his toe is fractured, puts bare foot in front of camera to clear up COVID toe ‘disinformation’
NFL1 day ago
Cleveland Browns activating RB Kareem Hunt, RT Jack Conklin off injured reserve