Australian star David Warner is set to return to the Big Bash League (BBL) after an absence of 10 years. The upcoming 12th edition will mark the first time the 35-year-old will play in the league since 2013 when he last participated in the tournament.

The former Australian captain was linked with two more T20 tournaments, the International League T20 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the South Africa T20 League, both of which will provide stark competition to the BBL next year.

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The star batter will be playing for Sydney Thunder, where he had played in the first and third editions of the Big Bash League in the upcoming edition. He is set to play in the league following the end of the Test series against South Africa in 2023 in January and the franchise expects him to play at least five matches, Sydney Thunder confirmed on August 21.

“I’m really excited to get back to the Big Bash with the club where I started,” Warner said in the statement released by Sydney Thunder.

“I care deeply about the game, and I am conscious that the conditions that I enjoy as a professional cricketer have largely come from other senior players who have come before me,” he added.

Warner also said that he understands his contribution to the future of the Big Bash League, which will help the upcoming generations of players even after his retirement.

The Sydney Thunder captain in the previous season, Usman Khawaja, has joined Brisbane Heat ahead of the upcoming edition and the team also revealed they are yet to appoint a new captain.

Warner could have been a choice for the captaincy to replace Khawaja, however, he was handed a lifetime ban from leadership roles in Australian Cricket following the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

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Apart from Warner, the BBL inaugural draft on August 28 will also see several other international stars like Rashid Khan, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo. However, the BBL will face stiff competition in viewership in the next edition considering the IPL franchises backing leagues in UAE and South Africa with significant financial help.

The upcoming edition of the Big Bash League will begin on December 13 and will continue till February 4.