But ESPNcricinfo understands that a potential deal to sign Warner to the ILT20 is almost certainly off and Warner’s manager James Erskine confirmed to the Sydney Morning Herald that they were in negotiations with CA and the Australian Cricketers Association (ACA) to have Warner play in the BBL.
The last Test of a three-match series between Australia and South Africa concludes in Sydney on January 8, 2023, with Australia’s next international commitment not until mid-February when they are due to tour India for a four-Test series. This means that Warner, Steven Smith, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, among other Test players, will be available to play franchise cricket in that period. CA had hoped that all would play in the BBL given it runs from December 13 to February 4, while the ILT20 is scheduled to run from January 6 to February 12.
It is written into CA, Australian domestic and BBL contracts that players need “written approval” in the form of no-objection certificates (NOCs) to play in overseas leagues but it is understood that a restraint of trade argument could be mounted under Australian common law should a player wish to go down that route. That contract clause has warded off players from making any decisive moves to the UAE this year but the ILT20 has given Warner the ability to bargain with CA and command a similar sized and structured BBL contract to what the “platinum” overseas players will get this season.