Banned Australia cricketer David Warner is keen to turn things around in the upcoming edition of Caribbean Premier League. Warner will represent St Lucia Stars in the showpiece event which also have Kieron Pollard and Darren Sammy as other proven T20 stars.
Cricket Australia (CA) had imposed a one-year ban on Warner for his involvement in the ball-tampering plot at Newlands in March. After the sanction imposed by CA, the BCCI had also barred Warner from participating in the Indian Premier League 2018.
Warner recently played in a Twenty20 tournament in Canada. He represented Winnipeg Hawks in the cash-rich event but couldn’t make a mark with the bat. The southpaw amassed 109 runs in 8 innings for the Hawks.
“It’s the world’s biggest party! They always talk about how exciting CPL is for West Indies cricket and getting fans engaged, they absolutely love it. It is literally for the fans there, it’s a big massive party and it is just exciting that they can bring world class players,” Warner quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
“Growing up as a kid, watching their West Indies fast bowling and all these rivalries with different batsmen and players around the world, that’s what you grow up and picture the West Indies as, so to play in the CPL is going to be a massive buzz for me as everyone talks about how good it is,” he added.
Warner is also excited about the squad that Stars have put together for this year’s tournament. The St Lucia based franchise is desperate to bounce back after a disappointing season last year.
“I think that when you look at the batting unit, it looks very strong and obviously the all rounding unit, and bowling unit complements itself. I think the batting unit in the way I look at it is like hammer and tongs, so we can go out there and be almost 80/90 off the first six, but even if we lose a couple wickets we will still be flying at a rapid rate, that’s what I see with our batting order. We surely pack a punch there,” Warner remarked.
“We just have to win one game to be better than last year which is a positive, but I personally think that we have got a chance to actually progress and move a lot further forward than they did last year. Improvement is about attitude and if you go back to last year, win that first game and gain some momentum. You don’t want to look too far ahead, take each game as it comes,” he elaborated.
Talking about the prospect of playing alongside Pollard and Sammy, the left-hander said: “I don’t think it will be too much different, the thing that they all bring is each individual is different in their character, but what they do bring to the table is their competitiveness along with their knowledge of the game. They have played a lot of the short form of the game as well so experience is a big thing but just pure competitiveness.”
“They both play the game hard once they are on the field and that’s one thing that I love doing as well so I think they go suited to each other very well and they have also played a lot of cricket with each other so I’m expecting the same thing when I play with them, to go out there, play the cricket hard and to be ultra-competitive,” he explained.
Brad Hodge, who coached the Kings XI Punjab franchise in IPL 2018, will mentor the Stars this year. And Warner is eager to work with him in CPL.
“I’ve done a little bit with Hodge, I haven’t been under him, but he is an exceptional person and a quality human being and an exceptional player. Opportunities came through at the wrong time of his career unfortunately but as a coach I have only heard good reports and I’m certainly looking forward to working under him that’s for sure,” David Warner concluded.