Sat, 20 Jul 2024

‘You’ll struggle to find a guy that’s had as big an impact’: Legend’s touching Warner tribute

(ICC) - David Warner's international career is officially over, as Australia's T20 World Cup run comes to an end.

Australia’s drawn-out, but eventual, elimination from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup officially concludes David Warner’s time as a wily, competitive, ball-blasting opening batter for Australia.

He has done it all, across multiple formats, and another former Australian top-order champion has encouraged Warner to celebrate and reflect.

After Australia’s loss to India, Ricky Ponting pulled his compatriot aside to offer some advice, as Warner adjusts to life without international cricket on the calendar.

Ponting, of course, went through this process almost a decade back.

“(I) put my arm around him,” he recounted on ICC’s Digital Daily show.

“I said, ‘...just take a moment tonight to sit back by yourself and reflect on what’s been an unbelievable career across all three formats for Australia.’

“We know he retired in the summer from test cricket, but you’ll struggle to find a guy that’s had as big an impact on all three forms in Australian cricket than David Warner has.

“I’ve been able to play with him, I’ve been able to coach him in the IPL the last couple of years and I really enjoy his company. So he should be very proud of what he’s done.”

Into his twilight, Warner remained as damaging with the bat as ever, knocking two fifties in the Caribbean, helping the Aussies put together a deep run. But ultimately, the side fell short of the final four, after losses to Afghanistan and India.

It’s back to the drawing board for the green and gold now, which transitions to a new Warner-less reality.

“We'll definitely miss him around the group, out in the field and off field,” bowler Josh Hazelwood said after the team’s loss to India.

“(An) amazing all-format career. It's sort of been a slow burn with Test cricket and ODI cricket and now T20. So, life without him, we've sort of gotten used to it a little bit … it's always different when you lose a player that's been there for so long.”

The Aussies will reassemble in a few months, ahead of back-to-back short format series with England in the UK, both T20Is and ODIs, beginning in mid-September. It’ll be the first look at a top order without Warner’s imposing presence.

Then later this year, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy is up for grabs down under, with a five-Test series against India that will have the world’s undivided attention. Australia’s test team has a taste of life without Warner, touring New Zealand earlier this year.

But the consistency and cohesion he’s helped provide, as the Australian side pivots from one format to another, and from one series to another, will prove almost irreplaceable.

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