CAPE TOWN – Controversial Australian opening batsman David Warner has stepped down as captain of IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad following the ball-tampering scandal in the Test series against the Proteas.
This follows Australian captain Steve Smith’s decision to quit the captaincy at another IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals, in the wake of #SandpaperGate.
Warner will be leaving the Australian tour of South Africa on Wednesday after Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland announced on Tuesday that the left-hander, along with captain Steve Smith and fellow opener Cameron Bancroft, had been charged with breaching the organisation’s code of conduct in the ball-tampering incident.
This means they will miss the final Test against the Proteas starting at the Wanderers on Friday, but Sutherland said that their full sanctions will be announced within 24 hours once the investigation is complete.
On Wednesday morning, the Sunrisers announced in a single message on Twitter that Warner’s choice to relinquish the leadership role was due to the ball-tampering furore.
“In light of recent events, David Warner has stepped down as captain of SunRisers Hyderabad. The new captain of the team will be announced shortly,” said chief executive of the franchise, K.Shanmugam.
It remains to be seen whether Warner will in fact play in the tournament at all.
The IPL starts on April 7, with the Sunrisers’ first match on April 8 against Rajasthan Royals.