England and Australian cricketers never really get along on the same track. An unexpected affinity, however, the likes of David Warner and Jonny Bairstow are showing while playing for Hyderabad in the Indian T20 League is the ‘beauty of franchise cricket, says England captain Eoin Morgan.
Warner and Bairstow faced off against each other during the Ashes 18 months back and returned with a not-so-fond memory, to say the least. The tournament circled around controversies and sledging, which eventually led to personal abuse.
Bairstow, on his part, came in the limelight for allegedly headbutting Warner’s then-opening partner, Cameron Bancroft in a bar at Perth. Tempers boiled and Warner clashed with several England players on the field.
A lot has happened since. But now that Warner has returned from his 12-month ban, he has formed a formidable partnership with Bairstow, playing for the Hyderabad team at the Indian T20 League.
The Australian, who has scored 85, 69 and 100 not out thus far, played a 185-run stand with his English counterpart, as his side defeated the Virat Kohli-led Bengaluru team. Speaking about the duo, England captain Eoin Morgan has admitted that although the two have shared a bitter history, the two playing together highlights the beauty of franchise cricket.
"The two of them are team-mates for the moment but that is the beauty of playing franchise cricket," Morgan told ESPNcricinfo. "You do get to rub shoulders with guys you never thought you'd play with.
"Thinking about it since in different sports, in football it happens all the time. Compare Portugal's game where Ronaldo got Wayne Rooney sent off [at 2006 World Cup], and had to go back and play for Manchester United two weeks later. It's trickier circumstances, but I'm sure Jonny is learning a huge amount from other guys that he's rubbing shoulders with."