New Delhi: Australian batsman David Warner on Wednesday stepped down as captain of Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad in the aftermath of the ball-tampering scandal that has tainted his reputation and shaken international cricket to the core.
"In light of recent events, David Warner has stepped down as captain of SunRisers Hyderabad. The new captain of the Team will be announced shortly," Sunrisers Hyderabad CEO K Shanmugam said in a tweet posted by the team's official handle.
Warner's IPL participation itself would be jeopardised if Cricket Australia decides to impose a lengthy ban as has been speculated. According to reports, Warner might be banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia, forcing him out of not just the IPL but also the home series against India later this year.
Warner, along with Australian skipper Steve Smith and opener Cameron Bancroft, is in the line of fire due to the scandal that broke out during the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town.
Bancroft was caught on camera using a sandpaper to tamper the ball and Smith later admitted that the opener was executing a plan put together by the team's leadership group.
The trio was ordered to return home by Cricket Australia after a preliminary inquiry, which surprisingly cleared coach Darren Lehmann of any involvement.
The latest episode continues the fall from grace for Warner, who was earlier caught on camera having an aggressive verbal duel with South African wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock during the second Test.
Warner was seen being physically restrained by his teammates in the footage that went viral on social media and invited a fine from the ICC.
Earlier, Smith had also stepped down as captain of another IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals, due to the incident, for which he was banned for one Test by the ICC.
Smith was replaced by Ajinkya Rahane as skipper.
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The four venues in Maharashtra have provided a good track for the batters to relish their strokes. Openers tend to dominate the shortest format of cricket and the trend remains the same in this latest season.
Warner may have got out for a golden duck in the team's previous IPL match against Punjab Kings, but he made vital contributions in the field.
Three Rajasthan Royals players— S Sreesanth, Ankeet Chavan and Ajit Chandila were arrested on the allegation of spot-fixing at IPL 2013.