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Unlikely that Warner will play in the first ILT20

Since he’s in the midst of talks to return to the Big Bash League for the first time since 2013, David Warner is not expected to play in the UAE’s inaugural International League T20 (ILT20), which is due to take place in January.

When Cricket Australia’s three-match ODI series against South Africa was postponed, Warner, who has a contract with Cricket Australia but no BBL deal, became available to play franchise cricket in January 2023. The United Arab Emirates expressed an interest in signing Warner to play in the UAE, especially given that his IPL team, Delhi, is also the owner of the Dubai Capitals team.

A agreement to have Warner play in the ILT20 is almost probably off, as cricketmood has learned, while the Sydney Morning Herald has learned that Warner’s manager, James Erskine, revealed that they were in talks with CA and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) to have Warner play in the BBL.

Concerns have arisen over the possibility that Australian players who are not engaged to play in the BBL could get a $US450,000 offer to play in the UAE.

When Australia’s three-match Test series against South Africa closes on January 8, 2023 in Sydney, their next international committment won’t come until mid-February, when they will tour India for a four-match series. As a result, the likes of David Warner and Steven Smith will be available for franchise cricket during that time frame. Because the BBL runs from December 13 to February 4, CA had intended that all would participate in the ILT20, which runs from January 6 to February 12.

All of the CA-contracted players, including Warner and Starc, have not played in the BBL since 2013, Smith, Cummins and Hazlewood all do not have BBL contracts under their contracts. Aside from Warner, Starc has already stated that he will not be available for rest, while Cummins and Hazlewood, both of whom have been much sought after in the Indian Premier League in recent years, would also be of interest to the UAE.

Australia’s top Twenty20 players, including Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh and Matthew Wade hold BBL contracts. For Australian players, elite contracts in the BBL max out at about $AUD190,000 ($US132,000) per year, which is a major limitation on their earning potential in the BBL. However, the BBL’s top contract dwarfs that of the UAE’s for a shorter tournament, and there are significant marketing bonuses available as well.

The BBL’s decision to award $AUD340,000 ($US236,000 approx.) to top overseas players who have been nominated in the draught has caused consternation among the players. Outside of the club’s pay cap, a large amount of the deal will be topped up by CA. As a further disappointment, many of those overseas players will only be available for the BBL portion of December and will then travel to the United Arab Emirates to play the whole ILT20 in January for roughly double the money.

If a player want to play in a foreign league, he or she must have “written consent” in the form of a no-objection certificate (NOC). However, it is known that an Australian common law restraint of commerce argument might be used if a player wishes to do so. A stipulation in their contract prevented players from making any significant moves this year towards the UAE, but the ILT20 has given Warner the potential to bargain with CA and command a BBL deal of a comparable size and structure to what the “platinum” overseas players receive this season.

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