Disgraced Australian opener David Warner will attempt to get his cricket career back on track by playing the start of the Sydney grade cricket season with Randwick Petersham.
Club president and ex-Test fast bowler Mike Whitney told the Southern Courier the batsman had committed to at least the first three of four matches for the club.
He will also be involved in pre-season training and helping with the club’s youngsters.
“We’re delighted to have him,” Whitney said. “He’s one of the best players Australia has had since World War Two.
“He’s been speaking to one of our club officials and he has committed to the first three or four rounds of the season. Why it is only three or four rounds at this stage, I don’t know.”
“Everyone is excited to have him. He will be great in the changing rooms with younger players.”
Whitney had reached out to Warner last month after the 31-year-old’s 12-month Cricket Australia ban for his role in the ball tampering fiasco in South Africa.
Warner has been on the books at Randwick Petersham since 2013/14 after joining from the neighbouring Eastern Suburbs club.
But he’s rarely been sighted for the club due to state, international and Indian Premier League commitments.
The Cricket Australia ban extended to state matches, with the three players at the centre of the controversy – Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft – only able to ply their trade in grade cricket during the suspensions.
The Territory option
Warner may play cricket in Darwin as soon as July, with Cricket NT CEO Joel Morrison telling The New Daily earlier this month that discussions with the batsman and Cameron Bancroft were under way.
“There’s definitely interest and it’s genuine, which is good,” he said.
“We kick off in July so the timing would suit them.
“Darwin provides a really good environment for the guys to return. It is an inclusive, relaxed and community-minded place. The weather is nice and warm.”
Cricket NT’s ambitious push to get Warner, Bancroft and Steve Smith playing over the winter has been backed by the local government.
If he plays in the NT, officials said Warner was most likely to feature in Darwin’s ‘Strike League’, a competition that includes both 50-over and Twenty20 cricket.
The competition is played on Saturdays and Sundays throughout July and features a sprinkling of first-class cricketers.