The Covid-19 situation means that there is still a bit of uncertainty around non-Indian players travelling to the UAE for the IPL, but if all goes well, David Warner will be back to leading Sunrisers Hyderabad and it won’t be a “redemption tale” for the Australian batsman. But there’s a chance that players from England and Australia, who have a white-ball series scheduled in England in September, will reach the IPL late, accounting for travel and possible quarantine.
“From what’s been circulating there are two start dates – around the 18th or 19th September [September 19 is the likely start date], pending quarantine in the UAE. And if we do have to quarantine, I think that allows time for the Australian and English players to get there and start around the 25th or 26th of September,” Warner said in a press interaction on Tuesday. “Unsure and unclear what dates a lot of the IPL franchises are going to gather in the UAE. There’s obviously a few government regulations we have to adhere to as well.
“I’m not even sure the borders between Dubai and Abu Dhabi are open as well. The BCCI is working on that background. The other thing as well is to get the Australian and English players from the UK to Dubai. But when you look at it – in the big scheme of things – there’s close to 12 or 14 different countries who have to merge into the UAE. So it’s going to be a difficult process. But I’m sure they are trying to get everything aligned at the moment to make that happen.”
As such, when speaking of his own future in the Covid-affected world, Warner mentioned that for some players, it could be “a big family decision” whether to tour or not, and had hinted that some players might even choose to chuck up their international careers rather than deal with long stints away from home.
“It’s great to be back and leading, but I’ve always said in that team that everyone is a leader in their own right”
Warner on the Sunrisers leadership
“I don’t see it as a redemption tale, I just see it as an honour to captain the Sunrisers,” he said. “I’ve got a great relationship with the players and the staff and most importantly with the owners, and I’ve expressed my gratitude to that and I thank them for that. “I’ll put my thinking cap on and try my best to move us forward to another IPL title [he was captain when Sunrisers won the title in 2016].”
When he was back at Sunrisers in 2019, Warner topped the batting chart for the team again, scoring 692 runs in 12 innings at a strike rate of 143.86, and forged a formidable opening act with Jonny Bairstow, who hit 445 runs at a strike rate of 157.24. And though he wasn’t captain, as far as Warner was concerned, he was very much a leader in the group.
“Obviously Kane and Bhvui did a fantastic job without me there. And we’ve got a very, very good foundation there, we’ve got a great family – the environment the owners have created amongst the players and staff,” Warner said. “It’s great to be back and leading, but I’ve always said in that team that everyone is a leader in their own right.
“Having Kane there adds so much value and knowledge of the way the game is played as well. Similarly, we rebound off each other with our ideas quite well. And obviously playing against him [Williamson] – it helps when you are leading a team.
“But from where I sit, (there’s) nothing different. I still considered myself a leader when I was there last year. It doesn’t matter if you have a ‘C’ next to your name or not, you’re a leader in your own right.”