David Warner confesses he wants to skip Aussie cricket’s biggest awards ceremony with wife Candice
David Warner is feeling exhausted ahead of next month’s Test tour of India and admits he would have preferred the night off from the Allan Border Medal this Monday to recover from a busy home summer.
Warner’s hectic campaign officially came to an end on Friday night when the Brisbane Heat eliminated his Sydney Thunder from the Big Bash League finals.
Starting in August, Warner played in the white-ball series against Zimbabwe, New Zealand, England and the West Indies, in every game of Australia’s T20 World Cup campaign, in each Test match of the home series against the West Indies and South Africa, and then managed six BBL games on his return to the tournament.
‘It’s been challenging,’ Warner told reporters of his busy summer.
‘I’m quite tired, exhausted.’
Warner had to fight back tears when he won the Allan Border Medal at the 2020 ceremony (pictured on the red carpet with wife Candice) – but this year he’d rather be at home
The superstar batter is ‘exhausted’ after a long and controversial summer of cricket in Australia and is desperate for as much rest as he can get before the Test side’s tour of India
India’s difficult wickets are lying in wait, as is the challenge to find consistent form with the bat following a Test summer that yielded a memorable double-century and a spate of unconvincing knocks.
The 36-year-old has five days to rest up before India, but one of his evenings will be taken up by Cricket Australia’s Allan Border Medal, to be attended by the Test squad ahead of their staggered flights out.
T20I teammate Marcus Stoinis and BBL star Chris Lynn are missing the awards night to play franchise cricket overseas.
‘There are a few guys who have gone to the UAE League, which aren’t going to the Cricket Australia awards,’ Warner said.
‘From my perspective, that would’ve been nice to have had another night at home. But it is what it is.’
Warner (pictured with wife Candice) has been playing with only a few small breaks since last August and his summer only finished up last Friday when his Big Bash League team lost
The star batter fought back tears when he won his third Allan Border Medal in 2020 as he returned to international cricket following his one-year ban over the ‘sandpapergate’ cheating scandal in South Africa.
His dislike of the sport’s biggest night is shared by former Test skipper Michael Clarke, who revealed in December last year that he only attended the ceremony because it was compulsory for cricket stars.
‘I think of (the) Allan Border Medal, right. The Allan Border Medal was compulsory, that’s why I went. If I was given the option, even winning the Allan Border Medal, I wouldn’t have went,’ he explained.
‘You’ve got media around the whole time, so you can’t unwind and drink because there will be a photo or a video and someone being pi**ed or under the weather, and then you’ve got to read about that the next day.’
Former Test skipper Michael Clarke (pictured with Jade Yarbrough) also didn’t want to attend cricket’s biggest night – not because he was exhausted, but because the presence of the media meant he couldn’t unwind and ‘get pi**ed’
Warner’s best performance of the BBL summer came on Friday night, when a rapid-fire 36 runs from 20 balls had the Thunder on track before rain washed the game out.
While his results have not lived up to his billing, the opener said his intention had never been to use the BBL cameo to limber up for the longer format in India.
‘You’re not really trying to negate the spinning ball, it’s a white ball as well,’ Warner said of the BBL.
‘For me, it was about coming back and trying to inject some energy into the Thunder team and trying to put my best foot forward for the team.
‘It hasn’t come off this year.’
Warner is contracted for one more summer with the Thunder and will come into the tournament on the back of an ODI World Cup in India, and potentially after a similarly busy home Test summer if he is still playing and selected.
‘Hopefully next year I can come out and be a little bit fresher than what I am at the moment,’ he said.
‘It’s going to be a long lead-in to our summer.
‘From a personal point of view, I’m going to have to try and work out how to stay nice and fresh.’
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