Sydney, Jan 6: After signing off from Test cricket by making 57 to lead Australia to an eight-wicket victory over Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground, veteran opener David Warner said in his farewell speech that he hopes the young kids out there can follow in his footsteps.
Though Warner fell when Australia were 11 short of the target after being trapped lbw by off-spinner Sajid Khan, the left-handed batter had done enough to ensure a comfortable win, getting a standing ovation from the crowd and end his Test career on a high as Australia achieved a 3-0 series sweep over Pakistan.
"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, 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."
"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, 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," said Warner to host broadcasters after the match ended.
Warner finished with 8786 Test runs at an average of 44.59, and a strike-rate of 70.19 with 26 Test hundreds and 37 fifties, and also won the ICC World Test Championship 2023 title. "(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.”
"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,” he added.
Warner also thanked his family for their support throughout his cricketing career. "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.”
Warner had also said that it was the end of his ODI career, where he made 6932 runs at an average of 45.3, with 22 ODI hundreds and 33 fifties, including winning the Men’s ODI World Cup title in 2015 and 2023.
"I think it'd be quite emotional to watch the guys go out there (in their next Test against the West Indies) 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.”
"(I 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," he concluded. (IANS)