Big Bash League 2014-15 July 4, 2014

Warner to sit out of BBL this season

ESPNcricinfo staff

Test opener David Warner has followed his captain Michael Clarke in sitting out of this summer's Big Bash League, declaring himself unavailable for the Sydney Thunder. Clarke announced on Thursday that he would not renew his Thunder contract this year due to Australia's heavy international schedule and the likelihood that he would be unable to play any BBL games anyway.

Warner has also decided to focus exclusively on Australia's Test series against India and the one-day tri-series against England and India that follows, as well as spending more time with his fiancé and their new baby, expected in the next few months. Warner said his decision was only for this year and he was keen to return to the BBL next summer.

"It was obviously a really hard decision because I love playing in the Big Bash," Warner said. "But with a massive summer of international cricket I want to focus on doing the best I can for the Test team and hopefully help us win the World Cup.

"Given there is so much international cricket it was unlikely that I would be available for many BBL matches. By then I'll also have a new young family so the extra day or two at home between international games will be invaluable. I've made this decision just for this season; I'm looking forward to being involved in the Big Bash again next summer."

Unlike Clarke, who has never played an Australian domestic T20 match, Warner has been a drawcard on occasions and in three games across three seasons for the Thunder he has averaged 76 at a strike-rate of 181. The initial BBL contracting window closes next Friday, by which time the teams must have signed at least 10 of their 18 players.