It’s official: Warner, Bancroft to play in Darwin
IT'S official - suspended Australian stars David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are coming to Darwin to play cricket.
In what is the biggest ever coup for the sport in the Territory, the NT News can reveal the suspended duo will play in the short-format Strike League from July 1-29.
NT Cricket will confirm this on Tuesday morning.
Global superstar Warner has committed to two days of the competition - July 21 and 22.
He is still exploring his options regarding the Global T20 Canada league, beginning June 28 and finishing July 16.
A source close to Warner told the NT News last week that the hard-hitting opening batsman "cannot wait" to play in the Top End. And Bancroft will play the entire competition.
Warner and Bancroft were stood down for 12 and nine months respectively by Cricket Australia following the infamous ball-tampering incident in South Africa in March.
Warner, a Twenty20 phenomenon with six combined centuries in the Indian Premier League and Big Bash, will bring huge crowds to the Marrara Cricket Ground where the Strike League will be played.
NT Cricket officials believe the unprecedented announcement of the two coming to play in the Territory will make the Strike League a respected competition nationally and internationally. This combined with Territory-raised stars Jake Weatherald and D'Arcy Short recommitting to the second edition of the month-long competition, as well as Western Australian representative Will Bosisto, means the tournament's stature is well and truly on the rise.
Cricket Academy NT coach Udara Weerasinghe believes the game in the Territory - with its impressive facilities - will finally get the recognition it deserves.
"We didn't get this sort of exposure 10 years ago, but we are getting it now because we have a good structure in place," he said. "With the Strike League, we are heading in the right direction."