The Roar
The Roar


'No.1 one entertainer in modern cricket': All the reaction as 'heart and soul' Warner retires, Pakistani rookie gets Test gong

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6th January, 2024

The curtain has come down on David Warner’s career, with the Aussie legend wiping a tear from his eye as he reflected on his final innings at his home ground in Sydney.

“I packed a wine or two,” he joked. “I felt happy and really, really proud.

“To come here in front of a home crowd with all the support they’ve shown me and the Australian cricket team over my career. Without you guys, we aren’t able to do what we do and it’s really very much appreciated.

“We are in the entertainment business and I’m happy to showcase what I try to do all the time. I started in T20 and try to emulate that.

“I try to play my shots and go out the way I play, and managed to get the win on the board which is great.”

He paid tribute to his family, particularly wife Candice Warner, for riding out some of the moments in an often-controversial career.

“(They’re a) massive part of your life,” said the opener.


“Without their support, you can’t do what you do.

“Credit to my parents for giving me a great upbringing, my brother Steve, I followed in his footsteps, and then Candice came along and got me in line and we’ve had a beautiful family.

“I cherish every moment I get with them and I love them to death. I won’t carry on because I’ll get too emotional. Thank you, Candice, for what you’ve done, you mean the world to me and I appreciate it.”

He made his way through the guard of honour set by the Pakistani team, took in the SCG crowd that numbered more than 20,000 and turned to his opening partner, childhood mate Usman Khawaja.

“He said it’s been an awesome journey and one that he won’t ever forget and will cherish these moments forever,” Warner said after Australia’s eight-wicket win.

“I didn’t have anything to go back to him with because I was tearing up.

“He said to me before he goes, ‘You gave me doughnuts (nothing)’. I had nothing, I couldn’t talk.”


His captain, Pat Cummins, was effusive in the post-match.

“It’s going to be hard to replace Davey,” he said.

“He’s basically played every game for the last dozen years, he’s a huge personality, he really sets the game up with the way he plays every time he walks out. He’s going to be huge to replace.

“We’ll enjoy him for the next day or so while we’ve still got him around.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 06: David Warner of Australia runs between wickets after achieving his half century during day four of the Men's Third Test Match in the series between Australia and Pakistan at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 06, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

David Warner sets off to reach his half century. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

Nathan Lyon paid tribute to the man ahead of the cricketer.


“He’s the most generous player I’ve ever played with,” he said.

“He’s forever organising, whether it’s golf, dinner, drinks, whatever. He’s that personality, wanting to give the whole time.

“He’s certainly going to be missed – not even talking about his cricketing ability, which speaks volumes for itself. His generosity is amazing.

“He’s been the heart and soul of this Australian cricket team for a number of years now. It’s going to be a massive hole that he’ll leave out, and I don’t think the Australian public will realise that until we get down to Adelaide next week, on to Brisbane and into the future.

“Whether at the crease and you’re batting with him or, as a bowler, the presence he brings in the slips or on the field. You know you’ve got someone who wants to win and has that belief that we can win from anywhere.

“That presence is going to be missed and will be a big hole.”

David Warner of Australia bats during day four of the Men's Third Test Match in the series between Australia and Pakistan at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 06, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Jason McCawley - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

David Warner bats during day four. (Photo by Jason McCawley – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)


On the Fox coverage, Wasim Akram described Warner as the leading entertainer in the sport.

“(He’s) one of the few players who came as a T20 specialist and retired as a Test great,” said the Pakistan legend.

“That shows how good David Warner is and was a cricketer – definitely the number one entertainer in modern cricket.

“Complete entertainment and the Test cricket world will miss him dearly.

“He’s still the best fielder in world cricket. You talk slip cordon, in the World Cup Final, the way he was diving around, saving runs in the covers.”

Warner’s illustrious Test career with the opener trapped LBW by Pakistan spinner Sajid Khan on 57.

It took a while to review the decision that saw Warner depart, with the batter initially given not out, but saw three reds on review to put an end to his final Test innings for Australia, one in which he had delivered his country to the brink of a victory that they would confirm just moments later.

As soon as the finger went up, the tributes began.


“It was a slow, painful end for him,” said Adam Gilchrist on the Fox commentary.

“He’s done his job, as he so often did for his country. The emotion, the passion, all coming to the fore now.

“To a man, the Pakistan players ran over to say well done to this warrior. A full stop on a remarkable career. So beautifully received at this famous Sydney Cricket Ground.

“It’s the last time he’ll walk up those famous stairs into the dressing room where he’s been a part for ten or so years. He had us captivated to the very end. Remarkable scenes.”

Accompanying Waugh was Adam Gilchrist, who described the moment as a dream come true for his fellow opener.

“It’s every cricketer’s dream to leave to a standing ovation in your final time, for the Australian Test team, on your home ground,” he said.


“Steve Smith comes in, David Warner exits for the last time. What a moment. Not a single person was on their seat for his walk-off, a reflection of what the public think, in a majority, about David Warner.”

“It meant the world to me,” Warner said of the reception.

“I’ve had a lot of ups and downs through my career. Today just showed to me that I do have a lot of support and I am very, very grateful for that.”

Jamal rewarded for all-round feats but Cummins gets top gong

Pakistani rookie seamer Aamer Jamal achieved the rare feat of winning player of the match in a losing effort in the Third Test.

Jamal, who smacked a cavalier 82 and took 6-69 in Sydney, was named player of the match to continue a rousing first series at international level for the 27-year-old.


He finished with 18 wickets across the three-matches, including a six-wicket haul on debut in Perth, as well as 143 handy runs despite not being a recognised batter.

But he was unable to topple Pat Cummins for player of the series honours with the Australian captain rewarded for his 19 wickets at an average of 12, including three five-wicket hauls.

The 30-year-old was astute with his tactics in leading his team to a clean sweep to retain the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, coincidentally overtaking the great Richie Benaud along the way to surge into the top 10 Australian Test wicket-takers of all time.