Disgraced Australian opener David Warner has decided to step down as captain of the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise for the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), starting April 4.
"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 CEO K. Shanmugam announced on Twitter on Wednesday.
The franchise is set to announce a new skipper in the next few days, with India opener Shikhar Dhawan being tipped as the front-runner for the job.
Warner had previously led Hyderabad to the IPL title in 2016 while ending up as the highest run-getter in the 2015 and 2017 editions of the cash-rich tournament.
Warner, 31, is right in the eye of the storm surrounding the ball-tampering crisis with Australian media reports surfacing that the dashing southpaw is "the central character" in the scandal that has rocked cricket.
Warner was recently stripped off the vice-captaincy of the Australian side after the third Test against South Africa.
He, along with his skipper Steve Smith, and fellow opener Cameron Bancroft were sent back home with Cricket Australia naming Tim Paine as the captain for the fourth Test against the Proteas.
Ajinkya Rahane has already replaced Smith as captain of Rajasthan Royals.
"The decision is yet to be taken so I am assuming the team is planning for the season keeping him in mind. In hindsight, if he is not there, the team is strong enough to replace him," Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Saha told reporters at the Calcutta Sports Journalists' Club, days before leaving for Hyderabad to join the camp.
"If Warner is there, it will be great obviously. He has batted superbly for SRH in the last few years and as captain has done well too. But I feel, we have replacements to fill his void. It may not be 100 per cent as he is a quality player, but we can try and fill the gap," said Saha who was roped in by SRH for Rs 5 crore in the player auction earlier this year.