Reports: David Warner may opt to forego BBL in favor of IPL-sponsored UAE T20 tournament

Each team at the UAE's new tournament International League T20 (ILT20) will be financially backed by IPL Franchise owners.

David Warner
David Warner. (Photo by Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

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In what may sound a piece of shocking news for Australian cricket fans across the globe, David Warner might forego playing in the remodelled Big Bash League, which begins in December 2022, in order to participate in UAE’s inaugural T20 League next year. The Australian opening batter has not yet finalized an agreement, but as per reports, the developments might be underway soon.

The International League T20 (ILT20) will hold its maiden season from January 6 to February 12 in 2023, the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) had announced in June. A 34-match itinerary for the six-team franchise league will be held at stadiums in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah.

According to a report by News Corp, Warner is presently negotiating to join the T20 league, wherein all six teams will have financial support from various IPL team owners. According to reports, each of the six teams may also acquire four players from their IPL parent teams. If reports are to be believed, Each of the six teams will have a $2 million salary cap.

“Each franchise will be allowed to sign four players of their choice outside of the draft or auction, which we will decide later. It could be any player who has a NOC from his home board,” Mubashir Usmani, the secretary-general of the Emirates Cricket Board, was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.

David Warner unlikely to receive NOC from CA

While the BBL is slated to begin on December 13, 2022, it will go on till the first week of February. In the meanwhile, the inaugural edition of the ILT20 will kickstart in January 2023. The 35-year-old Warner is currently in negotiations to obtain a clearance to join the league, which might arise a conflict.

To participate in any international competition, Warner must first obtain a No Objection Certificate from Cricket Australia (CA). And there is a good chance that CA might thwart any such action. According to the report, CA may even think about mandating BBL attendance for its contractual talents in the future in order to prevent encountering a similar circumstance.

Warner has previously played for the Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers. He has participated in the IPL frequently, having played for the Delhi Capitals and the Sunrisers Hyderabad, the latter of which he led to the 2016 championship.