IPL 2024: ‘After Impact Player rule, make it five overseas cricketers per team,’ says David Warner

Warner had no issues with the introduction of the Impact Player rule, hinting at T20 cricket heading towards some of its more fancied franchise league-based global sports properties in terms of rules.

Published : Apr 21, 2024 19:16 IST , New Delhi - 8 MINS READ

FILE PHOTO: Having retired from the two longer formats of the game, Warner has announced he will hang up his boots from international cricket at the end of the T20 World Cup in June. 
FILE PHOTO: Having retired from the two longer formats of the game, Warner has announced he will hang up his boots from international cricket at the end of the T20 World Cup in June.  | Photo Credit: AP

FILE PHOTO: Having retired from the two longer formats of the game, Warner has announced he will hang up his boots from international cricket at the end of the T20 World Cup in June.  | Photo Credit: AP

Having retired from Test cricket, he may be heading towards calling curtains on Australia’s yellow jersey at the end of the T20 World Cup in June. But David Warner, in a freewheeling chat, asserts he is far from being done with the Indian Premier League (IPL), a tournament that’s synonymous with Warner’s career.


Having played more than 100 Test matches, from being initially tagged as a T20 specialist, do you think of yourself as an exception or a trendsetter?

I believe that I have given every person out there hope that they can play all three forms. For me, it was about going out there and doing as best as I could and trying to perform every time I walked out to bat. I was able to do that in the Test arena and the white-ball arena, so hopefully that gives a lot of hope to a lot of kids out there that aspire one day to play red-ball cricket and Test match cricket.

Which transition is more challenging: T20s to the longer formats or the other way around?

That’s not at all important. It’s about your mindset and how you want to approach the game. If you are an attacking player, always look to attack and then your defence will take care of itself. If you go out there looking to try and just defend the ball, if you are an attacking player, it’s probably not gonna work in your favour. And that’s something that I had to adapt to when I was playing and making sure that I wasn’t going into my shell. And still playing the shots and the strokes that I like.

Have you given a thought about extending your sojourn as a sort of freelancer in T20 cricket post June 2024?

Yeah. Look, for me, it’s about spending time with family. But I’ll prioritise IPL and Big Bash [League]. I am doing commentary and I’ll probably play one or two, maybe in the middle of the year, just to keep your cricket skills up. I might even go back to NSW to play some stuff there to help out with the young guys. There is a lot of things that I can do in that opportunity in that sense.

What does IPL mean for David Warner?

It means a lot. Not just to me, but to everyone, the fans and everyone who supports not just Delhi Capitals but the IPL brings great satisfaction to people, puts a lot of smiles on people’s faces and it’s a game that we love.

Very few players have been able to be consistent over a 15-year period in the IPL. What is David Warner’s recipe for IPL success?

I think it’s about trusting your method and backing your skill. Like, for me, I can’t do what Heinrich Klaasen does. I can’t do what Glenn Maxwell does, but I know what I can do at the top of the order. You’ve got to trust your gameplan. You’ve got to know how to accelerate, come back a little bit and then try and go again. It’s about (being) cricket smart, and that’s how I have been consistent. I think you look at someone like Virat Kohli as well, who is very consistent, Shikhar Dhawan as well over the years is very consistent. You know, you have solid foundations in teams. You can even look at bowling units as well. You can count on [Jasprit] Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar [Kumar], Axar Patel. You can actually know you have got bankers in teams. And when you have that continuity and you have the experience, you are able to just keep rocking up and backing yourself and knowing what you are going to get from your players.

If you were to point out one aspect or one instance in your IPL journey that has kind of made a big impact on your cricketing journey, what would that be?

I think, just in general, adapting to different kinds of conditions. I think it aids you well when you are playing international cricket more specifically. Being in a big competition, playing in extreme pressure – the conditions, the expectations, the atmosphere – everything that comes with it. It’s basically the enormity of what the IPL is and what it brings. And for me, I absolutely love it, and I have been a part of it for a very long time now. And it’s so like I am part of the furniture.

If you were to suggest one change to make it even better, what would that be?

Play five overseas. You need to play five. You play more. You have got 12 players that are playing (in a team, including the Impact Player) anyway at the moment, so you might as well make it five.

Besides the Indian cricketers’ participation, what is it that helps the IPL stand out from other franchise cricket leagues?

Oh, most definitely your talent exposure is even greater because the scouts are actually going the whole countrywide to get participants to potentially play in the IPL. To play for India, back in the day, you played for your Ranji [Trophy] teams and you had scouts that were there, but more of these kids are coming to do net bowling. More of these kids are coming to be part of the whole academy system that’s coming. You know that story that surrounds the IPL as well. The IPL teams have academies attached to it, and a lot of these kids are getting exposed to these chances and opportunities. And we are seeing some extremely good talent coming through, whether it’s spin bowling, fast bowling. Mayank (Yadav) is an example who has just come on the scene as well. And now you got some extremely good batsmen as well. So, it’s a great opportunity for the kids coming through to actually showcase their talent.

You mentioned about the 12 players bit and you are a regular at the Big Bash League. Impact Player or the X-Factor rule, what works better?

If you play 12, it helps because then you can play your six genuine bowlers and that all-rounder becomes sort of not required if it makes sense. But you know they do a job and predominantly more if you are a batting all-rounder as well. I think it’s a good thing for the game. I think eventually the game might get to just the batting team and a bowling team and a fielding team.

When a team is not doing well, 14 league games may become a drag. How do you ensure that you remain focused on your task and keep delivering as an individual?

For me, it’s about my attitude and making sure that I am putting a smile on other people’s faces around me. Sometimes, you are gonna win some games, sometimes you are not, but it’s about how much fun that you create in your environment to keep things going, to keep working hard to tick along, to get that next win, staying together – really unite as a group. That’s one thing that this Delhi Capitals team does. We care about each other. We’re a big family and we have so much fun on and off. The field, you know no one likes losing, but at the end of the day the sun will come up, go back, train hard, go back onto the field and try your best. That’s all you can do.

You mentioned about the philosophy that you are trying to follow at Delhi Capitals. Can you compare your two stints with the Delhi franchise?

My first stint, I was young. I was playing with (the likes of) AB de Villiers, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Amit Mishra. We pretty much had a World XI and as a young kid, I was just so chuffed to be in that change room; just looking at all these players going ‘Wow, I can play the way that I want to play. I can just play with freedom.’ It gave me that opportunity in the IPL to do that. I had some success. Then, I quite clearly had a break and went to Sunrisers [Hyderabad] and then had the opportunity to come back here to Delhi. Combined now with my relationship with GMR and JSW as well, Ricky Ponting as coach, I get a lot more out of it now because I am a senior player. I have got the role of being responsible to other guys and make sure they are doing their thing, making sure there’s high energy, but the genuine care that is here is second to none. It’s an amazing family to be part of. I absolutely love it and I enjoyed my time the first time and I am well and truly enjoying my time the second time.

Where do you think the overall cricket ecosystem is heading towards? Is it time to possibly carve out windows for specific formats for international cricket?

Yeah, look, that’s why they have a governing body, the ICC. And you know that’s their job. That’s not my responsibility. My responsibility is to make sure that we are driving the game of cricket as best as we can. That’s by performing and making sure that we can hang around as long as we can and just help out as much. And yeah, like there is obviously a lot of cricket going on around the world, but again, today it’s what the major shareholders, what they want, and I am pretty sure that’s what’s gonna happen.

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