Sunrisers Hyderabad is my second home, says David Warner

The opener thanks his team-mates and fans of the IPL club for welcoming him with open arms.

David Warner is happy to be playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad after a year’s interval.   -  AFP

David Warner may have suffered a fall from grace due to the ball-tampering scandal, but he wasn’t forgotten or shunned by his Indian Premier League franchise — Sunrisers Hyderabad. On Friday, the batsman admitted he was part of the club’s chat group, and had received encouraging messages.

Owing to his role in the scandal, Warner was banned alongside Steve Smith for the 2018 IPL. Both players are now gearing up to compete in the 12th edition of the league, which begins on March 23.

“It’s very important. It is one tournament on the calendar that I’ve always been looking forward to. I’ve had a lot of success over the years from when I first started,” Warner was quoted as saying by India Today.

Read | Sunrisers Hyderabad has a potent spin unit, says Muttiah Muralitharan

Warner added: “From Delhi, I moved to Hyderabad. This is my second home and to come back here to open arms and to be greeted by the fans, some of the passionate and kind words, it means a lot to my family and myself. I’m just looking forward to the start of the tournament and playing and trying to go one step further from where the guys just couldn’t get further last year. The fans have been fantastic. My team-mates, lots of cuddles and high-fives... it’s been brilliant. It felt like I was at home; I can’t thank them enough for sticking by me and always sending me nice messages.”

‘Very, very humble’ Laxman

Ahead of the event, Warner thanked V. V. S. Laxman, the Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor, for his support. He said: “Laxman is a very, very humble human being and he always has nothing but nice things to say. The words he used the other day really meant a lot to myself; he’s just so genuine. With everything going on in last four months, I was at the forefront of his mind, I’m in the Sunrisers family’s mind and they’re going to welcome me with open arms as soon as the IPL starts. I’m really grateful for it and just ready to get back into it.”

Warner called his IPL club his “second family.”

He said, “It would be wrong for me to say I wasn’t emotional. I texted my wife and said ‘look I can’t get the smile off my face.’ Because it’s my second family, it was literally overwhelming because I’m back where I feel like I’m at home.”

Dhoni missed

Warner will hope to win a spot in Australia’s squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 through the IPL. Commenting on Australia’s One-Day International (ODI) series win over India earlier this month, Warner said, “We know [M. S. Dhoni] wasn’t playing the last couple of games and you know from the Australian point of view, I thought ‘that’s a big gap, a big hole and we’ve got a chance’. That’s the impact one player like him has from an opposition’s point of view. These are the headaches a lot of teams will have when they are selecting their 15,” Warner said.

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