David Warner has announced he plans to retire from Test cricket this summer, with the Australia opener eying off a Sydney farewell against Pakistan.
Warner will regain his spot at the top of the order and open against India in the World Test Championship final on Wednesday at The Oval in London. He then hopes to play through the Ashes and the first three Tests of the home summer against Pakistan, before bowing out in the New Year’s fixture in Sydney.
That would leave Australia eying off a new era at the top of the order for the final two Tests of the home summer against West Indies in Adelaide and Brisbane.
“I can definitely say I won’t be playing that West Indies series,” Warner said from Australia’s training in England. “If I get through this and I can make the Pakistan series I’ll definitely finish up.
“I’ve always played every game as if it’s my last. It’s my style of cricket. I just keep working as hard as I can to get to there,” Warner said. “It starts this Test against India and I’m just looking forward to that challenge and then the challenge that presents itself against England.”
Warner’s retirement from Tests will form part of a staggered exit from international cricket in the next 12 months.
The 36-year-old has previously indicated he intends to retire from one-day cricket after this year’s 50-over World Cup in India.
Next year’s Twenty20 World Cup in the Caribbean and USA would then mark his last international tournament, if the opener has his way.
“You’ve got to score runs. I’ve always said the world cup would probably be my final game,” Warner said. “We’ve got a lot of cricket before that, and then I think it stops from February.
“I’ll have to play obviously IPL some of the other franchise leagues and then get into that rhythm to play in June. There will be a bit of cricket around to play.”
If Warner is to maintain his spot in Australia’s team and retire in Sydney, he will finish as the country’s 10th-most capped Test player with 112 to his name.
But he is also well aware he must score runs in England to ensure his exit goes to plan. The left-hander was restricted to 95 runs at an average of 9.5 in the last Ashes series in England. He has reached triple-figures just once in his 32 Test innings since January 2020.
Coach Andrew McDonald indicated last week Warner would play a role in the Ashes, suggesting he will suit up at Edgbaston for the first Test against England on June 16 after the Test Championship final.
The other concern for Warner could also be his fitness. He took a ball to his left elbow batting in the nets on Thursday in Kent, on the same joint that was fractured in India when he was struck by a Mohammed Siraj short ball.
Warner was able to continue batting in on Thursday, and said he was in no doubt for the Test Championship final.
“It went numb and I had to get it strapped, but it’s fine now – a little bit sore, but lucky it didn’t hit me on top,” he said. “The last one hit from above and had a hairline fracture. This time it’s just a straight blow on to the corner of the elbow.”