Warner announces ODI retirement ahead of swansong Test at SCG

Sydney: Batting stalwart David Warner on Monday announced his retirement from ODI cricket alongside the end of his Test career here this week but will be continue to play T20 cricket for Australia.

The 37-year-old swashbuckling opener, however, kept the door open for himself to be available for the 2025 Champions Trophy if the Australian team needs him.

Ahead of his swansong Test at his hometown venue SCG, Warner revealed that Australia’s World Cup final victory over India in November was his last match in the 50-over format.

Warner had been contemplating retiring since before the tournament and went public with his decision at a press conference on Monday ahead of his Test swansong at the SCG this week.

“It was a decision that I was very, very comfortable with,” the 37-year-old said. “To win in India, from where we were, was absolutely amazing.

“When we lost two games in a row in India, the bond just got stronger with each other and it’s not by fluke or by chance that we were able to get to where we were. So I’ll make that decision today, to retire from those forms (ODIs).”

Warner retires as the sixth-highest run-scorer in Australian ODI history, having amassed 6932 runs from his 161 matches. His 22 centuries are the second-most by any Australian ODI player, behind only Ricky Ponting, who made 29 in 105 more innings than Warner played.

If called upon, Warner said he would be open to making a comeback at the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy in Pakistan. The Champions Trophy is among the only pieces of silverware missing from Warner’s resume; the last time Australia won it in 2009, he was not yet a lock for selection in the XI.

“If I’m playing decent cricket in two years’ time and I’m around and they need someone, I’m going to be available,” he said. Australia will defend their ODI World Cup title in South Africa in 2027.

Warner flagged the decision to quit ODIs would create more opportunities to play franchise cricket overseas, including in the United Arab Emirates-based ILT20. He is also eager to remain in the BBL after his contract with the Sydney Thunder expires at the end of this summer.

“I definitely am keen to pursue playing Big Bash next year,” said Warner, who will have a commentary role with Fox Sports next summer. “There has been a lot of talk about the ILT20 which will be starting, I’m pretty sure, after the BBL. So I would like to play that in and around the commentary stuff.

Warner has been a fixture of the IPL since 2009 but amid a busy international schedule, he has never featured in the Pakistan Super League or England’s The Hundred. He played one season in the Caribbean Premier League and Bangladesh Premier League prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Warner’s final Test match begins on Wednesday at his home ground, where Australia have the chance to complete a 3-0 series whitewash against Pakistan. Before the World Test Championship final and Ashes over the Australian winter, Warner flagged his intention to call time after the Sydney Test, a plan that was deemed self-indulgent by some vocal critics.

“There was a lot of talk about me and my form. I wanted to nip it in the bud early,” Warner said on Monday. The 37-year-old dispelled lingering doubts over his ability to make it to the SCG with a 164 in the first Test against Pakistan in Perth. But had he and opening partner Usman Khawaja struggled early in the Ashes, or had Australia not won the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s, things could have panned out differently.

“I said my ideal preparation to finish would be Sydney,” Warner recalled. “But I actually had Lord’s pencilled in as my last Test, especially if I didn’t go as well as I did as a partnership with Uzzie at the top of the order.

“If you’re down 2-0, and you go into that third one, and you lose that, I don’t think it’s the right choice to make (to keep playing). If I was failing and we hadn’t won, then it would have been an easier decision. I didn’t want to put the team or the selectors in a position where they had to think about, ‘Mate, it’s time to push on’. It was more about me just going, ‘I’m content with that. I’m happy with it, I’ve had a great career’.”

A maiden Test century in England eluded Warner in his fourth away Ashes but he made starts in the first two matches, most notably reaching 66 at Lord’s, his highest score in a Test in England for nearly eight years. Warner’s opening partnership with Khawaja passed 60 in three of Australia’s first four Ashes innings, making him feel he had earned his SCG swansong.

Warner admitted emotions had begun to stir since the first Test against Pakistan in Perth. “When I looked at Lord’s as a potential finish, I didn’t really have many emotions because I was content,” he said. “But definitely it’s been emotional since Perth, since I’ve been back in Australia and knowing that I’m playing (my final Test).

“Getting that 160, putting us into a great position for the team, it hit home when people in the streets were coming up and saying, ‘Well done, we support you, we back you’. It really means a lot.”