David Warner free to explore T20 options, says Sydney Sixers signing Kurtis Patterson

David Warner free to explore T20 options, says Sydney Sixers signing Kurtis Patterson

Significantly, Erskine said his star client could not play in the UAE league this season because it would be a breach of his agreement with CA. Player contracts prohibit involvement in overseas leagues during the home summer.

Warner has played just three BBL matches, the last in 2014, largely due to his international commitments, but remains a dynamic T20 opener. He was man of the series in Australia’s inaugural T20 World Cup triumph last November in the UAE.

Last month Seven West Media, which owns Channel Seven, took CA to court again over its $450 million broadcast deal, arguing that the governing body breached its contract relating to the quality and standards of the BBL.

Warner’s presence in the competition would be a major plank in rebuilding both the relationship with Seven and the ratings of the BBL, giving it a credibility boost heading into the next broadcast deal. The current six-year, $1.18 billion agreement with Seven and Fox expires in 2024.

The BBL was second only to the IPL when it began 12 years ago but now faces top competition from more lucrative T20 leagues in the UAE and South Africa, backed by capital from IPL franchise owners and other Indian companies, during the same January time slot.

During its infancy, the BBL lured box-office players such as Shane Warne and Kevin Pietersen. Both earned $500,000 packages, which included contributions from broadcast deals, but this time CA will need to fund the Warner offer from its own pocket.

While expanding the BBL to a full home-and-away schedule over almost two months netted CA a massive broadcast deal, it reduced its appeal, with average crowds and ratings falling. BBL clubs now attract mostly second-tier overseas players with little star billing. This was compounded over the past two seasons with the restriction of COVID biosecurity bubbles.

Kurtis Patterson, who dominated for the Perth Scorcers last season, has signed with the Sydney Sixers.Credit:Getty Images

Another major factor is that Australia’s best players are usually unavailable because of international duties.

CA and state administrators became so inflexible last season that Steve Smith was refused permission to play in the BBL on a technicality when a New Zealand white-ball series was canceled.

There is more space in the calendar this summer for Australia’s stars to play in the BBL after South Africa canceled one-day matches during January in favor of their own, new T20 competition.

The Sydney Sixers’ latest signing, Kurtis Patterson, believes players should have the right to compete in overseas T20 competitions.


“I absolutely love playing the Big Bash and there are a lot of guys who feel the same, but having said that, it’s a free market,” said the NSW captain, who boasts a batting average of 144 from his two Tests in 2019.

“If guys thought that was best for them and their family, I’ve certainly got no personal prejudice against that,” said Patterson, whose signing announcement was to help promote BBL and WBBL tickets going on sale.

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