Big Bash League 2011-12 July 28, 2011

Warner to captain Sydney Thunder

ESPNcricinfo staff

David Warner will captain the Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, which was launched in Sydney on Wednesday night. The captains of the eight teams in the new tournament have been unveiled, along with the fixture, with the competition set to begin on December 16 when the Sydney Sixers host the Brisbane Heat at the SCG.

While most of the sides opted for leaders with captaincy experience, the Thunder gave the job to Warner, who will be one of their major attractions alongside his fellow opener Chris Gayle. Warner said he was looking forward to taking charge of the ANZ Stadium-based team.

"It's something new for myself and hopefully I will bring a bit to the table," Warner told AAP. "I've captained my grade side for the last year and a half, this is a fantastic opportunity for myself and a big responsibility on my shoulders. I've played 100 Twenty20 games, so it's one of those things where I feel I'm experienced enough to take on the role and I've learnt a lot from previous captains."

Brad Haddin will lead the Sixers, James Hopes the Heat, Tim Paine the Hobart Hurricanes, Michael Klinger the Adelaide Strikers and Marcus North the Perth Scorchers. In Melbourne, the MCG-based Stars will be captained by Victoria's skipper, Cameron White, while their cross-town rivals, the Renegades, will play out of the Docklands under Andrew McDonald.

Each team will play seven matches in the preliminary stages of the tournament, before semi-finals on January 21 and 22, and the final on January 28.

Meanwhile, the Stars have secured a strong off-field team, with the Collingwood AFL president and TV host Eddie McGuire to become the side's chairman. He will be joined on the board by the former Test cricketer Damien Fleming and the netball champion Sharelle McMahon.