David Warner walks into the sunset of his red-ball career as one of the greatest-ever batters in Test cricket, having scored 25 centuries as an opener. While runs definitely made him great, how he achieved them was a story in itself.
A batter inspired by Virender Sehwag and batted like his spiritual predecessor entertained everyone on his way to close to 9000 Test runs. He capped off his red-ball career with a 3-0 series win against Pakistan, in which he played a big role, scoring a valiant 57 in his final Test innings. Warner was way too emotional as he bid goodbye in front of a home crowd in Sydney.
"It's pretty much a dream come true. Win 3-0 and cap off what's been a great 18 months to two years for the Australian cricket team. On the back of the World Test Championship win, the Ashes series draw, and then the World Cup and then to come here and finish 3-0 is an outstanding achievement and I'm just proud to be with a bunch of great cricketers here,” Warner said in his farewell speech.
"These guys they work their backsides off. The engine room, the big three quicks plus Mitchell Marsh. They work tirelessly in the nets and in the gym and credit to them to stay in the park, the physios, and the staff that are behind that is outstanding. Look at them, they're amazing. And I don't have to face them ever again in the nets. Which I don't do anyway. So that helps.
"[This morning was] Just a casual walk up to the local cafe and get a cup of coffee with the young one. I just got into the car and packed a wine or two. Shouldn't say that too loud, I'll get in trouble. I felt happy and really, really proud. And just to come here in front of your home crowd with the support that they've shown me and the Australian cricket team over the my last decade or my career, I can't thank them enough. Without you guys, we aren't able to do what we do and it's really really much appreciated.”
Warner’s is a career built in T20s, but he broke all preconceived notions to become a player of the highest quality in Test cricket. He batted in his own way, sometimes dogmatic, something aggressive, but never let the authenticity that made him one of the greatest ever go away.
"We're in the entertainment business and I'm just happy to come out here and showcase what I try to do all the time. I started with T20 and tried to come out here and tried and emulate that but I tried to play my shots, go out the way that I have played. And yeah, managed to get a win on the board which is great,” Warner said.
The New South Welshman has always appreciated what his family has done for him and he has always stated the positive life-changing impact of his wife and daughters. On his final day as Australia’s Test opener, Warner thanked his family and his colleagues in the Australian cricket team for their support.
"Massive part of your life and without their support you can't do what you do. I owe credit to my parents for giving me a beautiful and great upbringing. My brother Steve, I followed in his footsteps. And then [my wife] Candice came along and sort of got me in line. We've had a beautiful family and I cherish every moment I get with them. I love them to death and I'm not going to keep carrying on because I'll get too emotional. But thank you, Candice, for what you've done. You mean the world to me, and I appreciate it.
"I think it'd be quite emotional to watch the guys go out there [in their next Test series in the Caribbean] and not play and knowing that I was able to come out here and do what I could do. But as I just mentioned you got a great bunch of cricketers here. We are all almost over 30 years of age. So as time goes by, we're not getting younger, but this team, they're energetic, they're world-class and they're a great bunch of guys.
"[Would like to be remembered as] exciting, entertaining, and I hope I put a smile on everyone's face with the way that I played and hopefully the young kids out there can follow in my footsteps. White-ball cricket to Test cricket. It's the pinnacle of our sport. So keep working hard to play the red-ball game because it's entertaining as well,” the 37-year old concluded.