David Warner: Former Sunrisers Hyderabad captain still seething over manner of his sacking

The Hyderabad franchise sacked Warner, who had led the team to their sole IPL title in 2016, midway through the season following a run of poor form with the bat.

Warner led Australia to the ICC T20 World Cup where he won the Player of the Tournament award. (File/PTI)
Warner led Australia to the ICC T20 World Cup where he won the Player of the Tournament award. (File/PTI)

Australian batter David Warner has once again expressed disappointment at the manner of his removal as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain during the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

The Hyderabad franchise sacked Warner, who had led the team to their sole IPL title in 2016, midway through the season following a run of poor form with the bat. He was then removed from the playing 11 entirely at the latter end of the season and was seen cheering for his side from the stands.

Despite the Sunrisers ringing in the changes, including appointing Kane Williamson captain and dropping Warner, the franchise’s fortunes did not improve as they finished with the wooden spoon with a mere three wins and six points.

“If you are going to drop a captain and then not pick him in the team after what he has done, what message does that send to the young kids in the team? What message does that send to the rest of the group? What hurt me the most is that the other guys are now thinking, ‘oh, this could happen to me’,” the Aussie ace told journalist Boria Majumdar.

“At the end of the day, whatever happens, cop it on the chin. If you want to have those conversations, just have them. It’s not hard. Don’t shy away from them. I am not going to bite. I am going to sit here and accept that for what it is because you are not picking me in the team.”

Warner was sacked as captain after six matches and replaced by Williamson. He also missed the last few Sunrisers matches during the United Arab Emirates leg of the competition.

“They really felt it and it hurts me because I am passionate about where I play. I will connect in any way I can with the fans because I know how important fans are. Those kids in the playground wanting to be Sachin, Virat, myself, Williamson, Steve Smith — you name those players, they want to be us. We have to connect with them. If they see something like that, it hurts them,” Warner added.

Warner’s hurt in the IPL was followed by a triumphant return to form as he led Australia to the ICC T20 World Cup where he won the Player of the Tournament award.

Following that IPL debacle, Warner seemingly announced his departure from the franchise in a heartfelt Instagram post, capturing some defining moments of his journey with the team. His release from the Sunrisers has since been confirmed after his name was missing from the franchise’s ‘retained’ list.

The franchise did, however, extend an olive branch to their former captain, tweeting a congratulatory message to the batter following Australia’s victory in an Ashes Test against England last month. The team also wished him a good auction, which is scheduled to take place next month.

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