Big Bash League (BBL) side Sydney Sixers coach Greg Shipperd has requested Cricket Australia (CA) to allow charismatic cricketer David Warner to at least lead the domestic side, given that he had diligently served his ban post the ‘sandpaper-gate scandal’ and had been “making a great contribution to the team and to cricket in general across the globe”.
Warner, along with then skipper Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, was banned from all forms of cricket for a year after the ‘sandpaper-gate scandal’ during the Test series in South Africa. While Smith was allowed to get back to leadership roles post serving the one-year ban, Warner, while being allowed to play, was barred from captaining any side.
Shipperd said that with the dwindling crowds in the BBL, CA should look at the option of overturning the ban, which bars Warner from leading a side, so that he can captain the Sixers in the upcoming edition of the BBL.
“I think David has served his penance,” Shipperd said on SEN 1170 Mornings on Friday. “He’s back in the Australian team and making a great contribution to the team and to cricket in general across the globe.
“He’s a leader without the tag and I’m sure that’s part of the process to bring him back into the fold (of domestic cricket and the Big Bash). I say press the go button there,” said Shipperd.
One of the reasons for BBL losing its attraction is the lack of big Australian cricketers, who miss out due to a packed international schedule and Covid-19 regulations and bio-bubbles.
Shipperd felt that BBL should tweak its player replacement model, as the current rules prevented players like Steve Smith from returning for the Sixers during the business end of the previous season of Australia’s premier domestic event.
“I think simplifying the mechanisms (is the way to go) and to flip the replacement player process on its head,” he said. “Fill the final player in the team with a young player who comes in as the 15th player, signs a contract but knows he is attached to Steve Smith.
“If Smith is available for our team to play, then the player gets bumped into a replacement. We are developing a young player but Steve Smith is being marketed and if available, will be playing for the Sydney Sixers.
“Same applies for a Josh Hazlewood, a David Warner, a Pat Cummins or a Cam Green and those players around the country who are in that Australian all-format bracket.”