Australia batsman David Warner has withdrawn himself from the inaugural season of The Hundred – a professional franchise 100-ball cricket tournament in England and Wales to be run by the ECB.
Warner was one of the big-names who were drafted into the tournament, and he was set to feature for Southampton based Southern Brave, who snapped him up for GBP 125,000 – the highest-paid category amongst men. The 33-year-old left-hander will be replaced by fellow Australian, Marcus Stoinis, who emerged as the leading run-scorer in the 2019-20 Big Bash League (BBL) edition.
According to the Australian website ‘WAtoday’, Warner’s manager James Erskine said that the decision had got nothing to do with the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic that has caused a global lock-down of cricketing activities. “David Warner has pulled out of the Hundred in what could be the first of multiple withdrawals from England’s new franchise league by international players as the coronavirus pandemic grips world sport,” the website reported.
Erskine has cited ‘family time’ and a home series against the visiting Zimbabweans as the reasons for Warner’s withdrawal.
Erskine had earlier said that Warner would be playing in IPL 2020 if the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, and the T20 competition gets rolling after April 15, the time till which it has been suspended.