Twenty20 powerhouse Tim David to play for Australia on Socceroos terms

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Were David to sign a CA or state contract, he would be required to train and play in Australia between the months of September and April unless expressly permitted to do otherwise by the governing body. Without one, he is much freer to plan his year.

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Currently, David has deals in the Indian Premier League (worth $1.5 million a season), the Pakistan Super League, the Hundred in England, the Caribbean Premier League and the Abu Dhabi T10, in addition to his Big Bash League contract with the Hobart Hurricanes. He has not signed to play in the new UAE Twenty20 league.

The timing and manner of David’s inclusion for Australia has been a matter of discussion for him, his management, and the national selectors for some months. Initially, selection chair George Bailey had wanted to include David in the squad for a Twenty20 series at home to Sri Lanka in February.

However, it was agreed that David should be allowed to take part in the PSL during the same window, rather than essentially being chosen as a spare batter for Australia. That move aided his big-money purchase in the IPL auction and subsequent exposure on the Twenty20 circuit’s highest quality stage.

By performing strongly for Mumbai Indians, David more or less sealed a spot in Australia’s World Cup squad, most likely at the expense of Mitch Swepson, the third spin bowler chosen for last year’s tournament in the UAE. Just how he fits in the playing XI that lifted the trophy in Dubai last year remains to be seen.

While David’s quest for flexibility, alongside the success of Chris Lynn in playing in both the UAE and the BBL this summer, takes cricket closer to a future where T20 contracts provide the bulwark of income for a greater number of players, it is also a mirror of the discussions about Warner when he first made his mark on the game.

Over a decade ago, Warner was considered the brightest young star on the Australian T20 scene, with BBL organisers hoping he would be the dominant homegrown player in the tournament alongside his burgeoning IPL career.

David Warner in action for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash in 2011.

David Warner in action for Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash in 2011.Credit:Pat Scala

However, it was at the insistence of then selector Greg Chappell that Warner was fast-tracked into the Australian Test squad, meaning that by the time the BBL launched in December 2011, he had already received a baggy green cap and was thus unavailable for most of the competition.

This time around, the one similar consideration for David and the selectors will be whether international Twenty20 success leads to inclusion in the 50-over team ahead of next year’s ODI World Cup in India.

Should that eventuate, a central contract will be harder to avoid.

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