David Warner makes low-key exit from international cricket after Afghans beat Bangladesh in T20 WC

Retires as Australia's highest scorer and seventh-most prolific batter in the world in T20 format

PTI, Jun 25, 2024, 5:10 PM IST

Credit: PTI

Kingstown: Australia batting great David Warner’s 15-year-long international career, dotted with glorious achievements and controversies in equal measure, has come to an anti-climactic end after Afghanistan beat Bangladesh, eliminating the former champions from the T20 World Cup at the Super Eight phase.

Australia, the 2021 champions, finished at third place in the Super 8s Group 1 table with just two points — from the win against Bangladesh. They had suffered a shocking loss to Afghanistan and a humbling defeat to India.

The 37-year-old Warner, who made his international debut in January 2009 in a T20I match, thus made a low-key exit from international cricket with Australia’s 24-run loss to India on June 24 at Gros Islet being his last match.

There was no guard of honour or standing ovation, befitting one of Australia’s all-time great batters. He made six runs off six balls in the match, edging Arshdeep Singh as Suryakumar Yadav took a low catch. He walked off the pitch with his head down, not knowing whether that was his last game.

Warner’s retirement has been gradual. He played his final ODI match in the World Cup final win over India in November 2023 and his last Test against Pakistan in January. He has long signalled that this T20 World Cup would be his final tournament.

He retires as Australia’s highest scorer and seventh-most prolific batter in the world in T20 format with 3,277 runs from 110 matches, at an average of 33.43 and strike rate of 142.47. He scored one hundred and 28 fifties in the shortest format.

From 112 Tests, he has scored 8,786 runs at an average of 44.59 with 26 hundreds and 37 fifties between 2011 and 2024.

He also scored 6,932 runs from 161 ODI matches at an average of 45.30 with the help of 22 centuries and 33 half centuries.

Warner, who has 49 centuries across formats and close to 19,000 runs in international cricket, had acknowledged that his name will forever be linked to the sandpaper gate scandal that took place at Newlands, Cape Town during a Test match against South Africa in 2018.

Warner’s involvement in the scandal in the Newlands Test, when Cameron Bancroft used sandpaper to scuff the ball earned him a one-year ban, the same punishment as that of the-then skipper Steven Smith.

Warner was also banned for life from taking any leadership role in the Australian cricket setup.

“I think it’s going to be inevitable that when people talk about me in 20 or 30 years’ time, there will always be that sandpaper scandal,” he said last week at North Sound ahead of Australia’s Super 8 clash against Bangladesh.

“But for me, if they’re real cricket tragics and they love cricket, (as well as) my closest supporters, they will always see me as that cricketer – someone who tried to change the game.

“Someone who tried to follow in the footsteps of the openers before me and try and score runs at a great tempo and change Test cricket in a way.”

Warner was also a part of the IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad from 2014 till 2021, and led the franchise to its only title in 2016.

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