David Warner’s Big Bash League return won’t come while he’s still playing for Australia despite the opening batsman claiming star power is more crucial to the competition’s success than rule changes.
Warner has not appeared in the BBL since 2012-13, despite a bid from several franchises to have him appear last summer.
The 34-year-old has traditionally been one of Australia’s busiest cricketers, having been a constant in all three formats.
And while ever that remains, it means the longest absence from the T20 competition of any currently contracted Australian player will continue.
“I have three kids at home and a wife that I owe time to,” Warner said.
“To play all three forms it’s very difficult to do that. I don’t think I will play while playing for Australia still, that’s being honest.
Warner’s decision not to play in this year’s tournament comes after Steve Smith said he wouldn’t back up last year’s appearance.
In Smith’s case, he admitted the fatigue of constant COVID bubbles presented the biggest challenge after enjoying his stint with the Sydney Sixers last summer.
Mitchell Starc will return to the Sixers for the first time since 2014-15, while fellow quicks Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood are yet to confirm their position.
Big Bash boss Alistair Dobson this week welcomed debate over the competition’s new rules, which have included Shane Watson labelling them as “gimmicks”
Among the new rules are the introduction of a point for the team who leads at the 10-over mark, and the use of a substitute after 10 overs in the first innings.
But Warner said what was most crucial was allowing for ways for as many big-name Australian and overseas players to feature.
“There has been a lot of talk about the new rules and the number of games and how long it goes for,” Warner said.
“The most important thing is if you can get the Australian players and best international players coming out to play.
“That will fix the issue with what they are trying to tinker with.
“The rules, I understand the reasons why. Do we need to tinker with it? Personally I don’t think we do. It’s just about getting the right people to play.”