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David Warner is set to have a second Australian farewell, with Cricket Australia expecting the opener to fly back from Dubai to feature in next month’s Twenty20 series against the West Indies – but the decision will cost the former Test opener.
The 37-year-old has taken up a big-money offer to play for the Dubai Capitals T20 side in the United Arab Emirates – but the governing body has put a dent in those plans by demanding he put the national team first.
Warner is expected to play in all of Australia’s 20-over games in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup in June.
Fresh off his Test retirement, the ex-Test opener will fly in by helicopter to play for the Sydney Thunder in Friday night’s BBL clash with the Sixers.
Warner (pictured playing T20 for Australia against England) has been told he has to put the national team before his big-bucks deal to play in the United Arab Emirates
The 37-year-old plays for the Dubai Capitals, which are owned by the Indian Premier League side he plays for, the Delhi Capitals (pictured)
Due at his brother’s wedding in the Hunter region on Friday afternoon, Warner is set to land in a helicopter in Sydney later that evening to play at the SCG.
He could land on the playing surface at the $800million Allianz Stadium next-door to the SCG, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The opener will feature in the last three regular-season games for the Thunder, before being cleared to play for the Dubai Capitals in the ILT20 in Dubai.
The Capitals are owned by Warner’s IPL franchise, the Delhi Capitals.
It had initially been thought Warner could see out the tournament in Dubai and skip the T20s against the West Indies, sparking the first serious club-versus-country debate in Australian cricket.
But chief selector George Bailey on Wednesday confirmed Warner would have to be back to play in the home T20s, which will double as his last internationals in Australia.
‘He’ll be part of those T20s at the back end of the summer and the ones in New Zealand as well,’ Bailey said.
‘That’s the same with all our Australian contracted players. If they’re going to be selected in a squad then they’re available.
Warner will be cutting it very fine when he dashes from his brother’s wedding in the Hunter Valley to play for the Sydney Thunder (pictured) on Friday
The star is due to get a helicopter to the game – and it will reportedly land on the playing surface at Allianz Stadium (pictured) next door to the SCG
‘If they’re not [selected], then it depends what what sort of domestic cricket responsibilities they have before they are cleared to play elsewhere.’
The T20s against the West Indies in Hobart, Adelaide and Perth between February 9 and 13 will be Warner’s last internationals in Australia.
The 37-year-old last week announced his immediate retirement from one-day cricket, and confirmed June’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean would be his international swan song.
Under cricket’s rules, players must gain clearance via a no-objection certificate (NOC) to play in another nation’s T20 franchise league.
Australian coach Andrew McDonald confirmed last month that any NOC put forward by Warner would be considered by Bailey and high-performance boss Ben Oliver.
Bailey’s comments mean Warner will miss at least Dubai’s last two matches, as well as the finals of the ILT20.
The West Indies series was the only potential club-versus-country issue for Warner, with the away T20s against New Zealand and the World Cup not clashing with any other leagues he is contracted to.
‘We’re still really excited about what he can provide for that T20 team and hoping he can add one more major trophy to his cabinet,’ Bailey said.