Australia's Warner back as Hyderabad captain after scandal-enforced break

David Warner missed the 2018 IPL over a ball-tampering scandal. — AFP

NEW DELHI — Australia opener David Warner will return as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain for the upcoming Indian Premier League, the club said Thursday, two years after he was replaced over a cheating scandal.

Warner takes back the reins from New Zealand's Kane Williamson, who led Hyderabad for two seasons following Warner's 2018 ball-tampering affair, which earned him a one-year international ban.

"I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity once again to lead the team," Warner said in a video posted by Sunrisers Hyderabad on Twitter.

"I am sure I will be doing my very, very best to try and lift the IPL trophy coming this year," he added.

Australia teammates Warner and Steve Smith, who plays for the Rajasthan Royals, stepped down from their captaincy roles in the lucrative league and were barred from the 2018 edition over the 'Sandpapergate' scandal during a Test against South Africa.

Williamson led the Sunrisers to the IPL final in 2018, where they lost to Chennai Super Kings. He was the Twenty20 tournament's leading batsman with 735 runs.

Sunrisers ended fourth on the points table last year after going down to Delhi Capitals in the eliminator.

Warner, who captained Sunrisers to their only IPL title in 2016, returned to the league in 2019 to top the batting chart with 692 runs including eight fifties and a century in 12 innings.

Warner and Smith served one-year bans for their role in the ball-tampering saga, before returning to international cricket ahead of last year's 50-over World Cup. — AFP