Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch (Credits: Twitter)

Aaron Finch’s retirement from one-day international cricket is set to cause a bit of a stir as the Australian white-ball captain called for opening partner David Warner to succeed him as captain of the 50-over side.

Aaron Finch announced this morning that he was pulling the pin on his 50-over international career after his 146th match in the dead rubber third ODI against New Zealand in Cairns on Sunday. However, he will continue as the T20I skipper and will lead the nation ahead of the home 2022 T20I World Cup later this year.

But after announcing he was stepping down from the post, Aaron Finch threw a spanner in the works, seemingly endorsing David Warner as his successor. David Warner is actually 21 days older than Aaron Finch and also has a lifetime captaincy ban handed down from Cricket Australia in the wake of the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town.

Aaron Finch and David Warner. Photo: AAP Image/Michael Dodge
Aaron Finch and David Warner. Photo: AAP Image/Michael Dodge

Aaron Finch Called For Opening Partner David Warner To Succeed Him As ODI Skipper After Announcing Retirement

Ironically, the ball-tampering scandal was the catalyst for Aaron Finch to ascend to the white-ball captaincy, taking over from Steve Smith, who previously led Australia in all three formats. Steve Smith has already returned to the Test vice-captaincy and led Australia during the Adelaide Test last summer when Pat Cummins was sidelined as a Covid-19 close contact.

Steve Smith and Pat Cummins
Steve Smith and Pat Cummins

Asked about his opening partner’s captaincy prospects, Aaron Finch said David Warner would be a great option for Australia.

“I think CA are revisiting what that looks like,” Finch said. “He’s someone I’ve played under a few times for Australia when he’s had the opportunity to captain and he’s been fantastic.”

“He’s an unbelievable tactical captain and someone who, at the time, everyone loved playing under. But I’m not sure what CA’s position is on it. Would I like to see it overturned? Absolutely.What he can offer not only now in that leadership space but going forward, for him to be able to coach and help the next generation of players coming through is going to be so important for Australian cricket. I think you do your time and he’s well and truly done that I think.”

Aaron Finch will lead the team for the last time in the third ODI against New Zealand on September 11. He will continue to lead the Men’s T20I side and aim to defend their World Cup title on home soil next month.

The 35-year-old played 145 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and led the team in 54 of them. Aaron Finch has scored 5401 ODI runs and is fourth among Australian batsmen with the most ODI centuries. He is next to Ricky Ponting (29), David Warner, and Mark Waugh (18 centuries both).

Due to the involvement in the sandpaper gate incident in March 2018 during the Cape Town Test, then Australian captain Steve Smith faced a one-year suspension from Cricket Australia along with the vice-captain David Warner while Cameron Bancroft received a nine-month ban from the CA.

Cricket Australia also handed Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft a further one-more year captaincy ban while David Warner faced a lifetime captaincy ban.

David Warner Was Handed Lifetime Captaincy Ban After 2018 Sandpaper Gate Scandal But Discussions To Overturn It Is A Hot Topic

For about the past year, discussions of overturning David Warner’s ban have been a topic of discussion for players and administrators. Late Australian cricket legend Shane Warne also questioned the ongoing ban after Steve Smith became the vice-captain.

“With Sandpapergate back in South Africa a few years ago, how can the captain be allowed to take up another leadership role where a player like David Warner, who’s probably got the best cricket brain in the team, isn’t allowed to?” he said.

“If you’re going to ban a player but allow the captain to have another chance, it doesn’t make sense to me. I would’ve thought they’re either both available again, and we’ve all moved on, and we’ve put that in the past, and you can be captain or vice-captain again, or you can’t … I don’t think you can pick and choose one player or not.”

Australia's David Warner (Associated Press)
Australia’s David Warner (Associated Press)

In June, Test skipper Pat Cummins threw his support behind David Warner, saying: “Fundamentally, banning someone for life I disagree with” He’s a fantastic leader around our squad here. If he has a formal role, he’d be fantastic with that as well. So if that ever came up, he’d be great,” Cummins added.

Last December, David Warner’s wife Candice said he’d rather captain a team in one of the lucrative overseas tournaments than play in the Big Bash.

She added in July this year: “I don’t like injustice so it does bother me,” she said.

“But it doesn’t really bother him because he can go and captain in the UAE, he can go and captain in India where people appreciate his cricketing brain and what he can bring to a team.”

David Warner will play in the Big Bash this season, having signed a deal with the Sydney Thunder for a reported $70,000 a game. The belief is the Sydney Thunder would like David Warner as captain and will put pressure on Cricket Australia to overturn the leadership ban.

David Warner is not the only player who could become the 50-over captain as the likes of Steve Smith, wicketkeeper Alex Carey or Pat Cummins could also be seen as options, while Glenn Maxwell has also been captain of his Melbourne Stars BBL team.