David Warner quitting ODI cricket, what a New Year shocker!

File photo of David Warner (Image: ICC)

David Warner and timing go hand in hand. Whatever be the format of cricket, Warner been a class act — power, timing and a great sense of geometry in executing the shots.

On January 1, even as bleary-eyed cricket fans were yet to wake up after the overnight celebrations comes the news Warner has decided to say goodbye to ODI cricket. To have scored 6932 runs in 161 one day internationals at a strike rate of 97.26 is something to feel proud of.
Warner had announced before the Test series against Pakistan, he was saying goodbye to the red-ball long format. He is making the farewell an emotional one, with the knock of 164 in Perth being standout last month. The MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground) knock of 38 and 6 was “poor” by Warner standards, but the emotional farewell he got there, saw fans shed tears.

“I’m definitely retiring from one-day cricket as well,” he said at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) on Monday. “That was something that I had said through the (ICC) World Cup, get through that, and winning it in India, I think that’s a massive achievement.

“So, I’ll make that decision today, to retire from those forms, which does allow me to go and play some other leagues around the world and sort of get the one-day team moving forward a little bit. I know there’s a Champions Trophy (2025) coming up. If I’m playing decent cricket in two years’ time and I’m around and they need someone, I’m going to be available,” said Warner.


It takes a lot to call it quits when at peak. Warner is 37, still super fit. His decision to say goodbye to the ODIs means, none nudged him to move out. The thought came from the heart. At the same time, he is keeping his options open, if the Aussies need him two years later, he may come back to the 50-over format and play the Champions Trophy.

This decision from Warner resonates with her persona, someone who does not want to be told what to do and when to leave. Yes, he wants to play more T20 leagues, which will also pay well. As a professional cricketer, he needs to rake in the bucks, be it the Indian Premier League (IPL) or any other league. You cannot grudge it, he has done his bit for the Aussies and his mates.

Then again, world cricket has seen so many characters hang around. To retire when at peak is better than be dropped or be told officially, “rested.” Warner has ensured he will be remembered as a character who charted his own course in every format.

“From the very first time that I saw him at the crease, David has always been busy. He would prowl the crease like a panther. He always looked like he had a purpose. That purpose was to make runs, which he often did. And usually when his team, or he, needed them,” wrote Greg Chappell in the Sydney Morning Herald.

David Warner in ODI Colours (Image: ICC)

“No innings of David’s was boring. Any runs were kinetic and often frenetic. There was always motion and energy. Never a jogged single for Davey. It was always running hard. It was as if he had a job to complete and he was on the clock,” penned Chappell.

Greg Chappell has followed the career of David Warner closely. His comments sum up Warner the batter and Warner the character.

The world of sports has seen many champions struggle, not sure when to retire. If you talk of tennis, Pete Sampras knew when to retire, after winning his last US Open. In contrast, Roger Federer tried pushing his career, till his knees just gave away after repeated surgeries. He walked away in 2021, shedding tears.

Modern day cricket is busy and taxing. Warner leaves behind a legacy in Tests and now, the ODIs. It is as if a whole chapter has come to a close. If the average fan is so emotional on Warner bidding adieu to the ODIs, imagine how hard it would have been for the champion cricketer to himself take this decision.

This is what marks David Warner as even more special. The final Test between the Aussies and Pakistan begins on January 3. Warner will be watched for many reasons as he will walk into sunset in Sydney.

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