However, the extent of any potential fixture clash is unclear with confirmation of the ILT20 start dates still awaited. Shortly after the inaugural edition was completed, January 13, 2024 was announced as the beginning of season two but it’s understood that this has yet to be inked in.
ESPNcricinfo understands that BBL clubs have been working under an assumption that the ILT20 would start around January 20 when it comes to their planning for overseas player availability in the upcoming draft which will be held on September 3.
As far as Warner is concerned, when he becomes available for Capitals if the tournaments do overlap will likely be dependent on whether Thunder qualify for the finals. The BBL regular season finishes on January 17 so if Thunder did not progress he could then head to the UAE. The BBL final is on January 24. Warner would still require an NOC even if clear of Thunder duty.
Warner was a big-money signing for Thunder last year where he joined on a two-year deal worth AUD$340,000 per season, marking his first appearance in the BBL since 2013, with CA going to great lengths to get Australia players back into the competition. He played six matches, managing 99 runs at a strike-rate of 108.79.
The other factor regarding Warner heading to the UAE is that Australia have a T20I series against West Indies from February 9-13 which would appear likely to overlap with a portion of the ILT20. While Warner is expected to finish his ODI career after the upcoming World Cup in India he said he still wants to feature at next year’s T20 event in West Indies and the USA.
Australia will be looking to put their plans into place during those games against West Indies and could insist that Warner is available.
Warner’s Thunder team-mate Daniel Sams was also among the ILT20 signings announced on Monday, as was AJ Tye of Perth Scorchers. It’s understood that Tye’s availability is still being worked through given he holds a Western Australia state contract.
Meanwhile, Thunder have made two new coaching appointments ahead of the new season. Dan Christian, who retired at the end of the last BBL season with Sydney Sixers, will move across town to join as an assistant coach to Trevor Bayliss for the BBL while Michael Klinger, New South Wales’ head of T20 male cricket, will be an assistant to the WBBL side under new head coach Lisa Keightley.
“I’d like to think over my career I have developed a bank of knowledge and experiences that can help the Thunder players and I am eager to learn from Trevor Bayliss,” Christian said.