David Warner makes stunning claim that leadership ban from CA wasn’t just about cheating scandal


David Warner makes stunning claim that his leadership ban from Cricket Australia had more to do with off-field issues than the bombshell cheating scandal in South Africa

  • Australia’s dynamic opening batsman wants to be reinstated into leadership role
  • Warner was issued a lifetime leadership ban by CA after ‘sandpapergate’ in 2018
  • 35-year-old feels he has served his time, may replace Aaron Finch as ODI skipper
  • Will soon meet with Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley to discuss the situation 

David Warner has bizarrely claimed his lifetime leadership ban from Cricket Australia isn’t due to the cheating scandal in South Africa back in 2018.

In what was a dark day for Australian sport, Warner was painted as the chief instigator behind the infamous ‘sandpapergate’ controversy, which saw Cameron Bancroft caught applying sandpaper to the ball during a spiteful Test match in Cape Town.

Bancroft was later issued a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia (CA), while Warner and then Aussie captain Steve Smith were both suspended for 12 months for bringing the sport into disrepute.

Speaking at the summer of cricket launch for Kayo Sports on Tuesday, Warner, 35, reiterated his desire to be reinstated into a leadership role for Australia.

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The dynamic opening batsman pointed to the dispute between players and CA over a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2017 as to the reason he believes he hasn’t been in the mix for leadership opportunities with Australia –  not what unfolded in Cape Town.

David Warner believes his lifetime leadership issued by Cricket Australia isn’t due to the cheating scandal in South Africa back in 2018

Warner was painted as the chief instigator behind the infamous 'sandpapergate' controversy in Cape Town - he was later banned for 12 months, as was then captain Steve Smith (right) while Cameron Bancroft (left) was suspended for nine months

Warner was painted as the chief instigator behind the infamous ‘sandpapergate’ controversy in Cape Town – he was later banned for 12 months, as was then captain Steve Smith (right) while Cameron Bancroft (left) was suspended for nine months

‘Unfortunately a lot of the events before 2018 were with the [CA] board. The MOU stuff and all that,’ Warner said.

‘Things got over and above, in terms of the Cape Town stuff. There was more to it.

‘I think that’s where my decision, the penalty that was handed down was more [linked to] stuff happening before that.

‘I think at the end of the day it’s about what questions do they [the CA board] want to ask me.

‘That’s where the conversation starts and then we can lead from there. It’s almost a completely new board from when 2018 happened.

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‘I would be interested to see and hear what their thoughts are.’

The ball tampering saga turned life upside down for the Warner family, with Candice Warner (right) later revealing she suffered a miscarriage as the scrutiny of her husband became overwhelming

The ball tampering saga turned life upside down for the Warner family, with Candice Warner (right) later revealing she suffered a miscarriage as the scrutiny of her husband became overwhelming

In contrast, Smith was Pat Cummins’ deputy for the Test team in the Ashes last summer.

A pending meeting with Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley is expected to provide Warner with the answers he craves.

‘At the end of the day, any opportunity to captain would be a privilege,’ he added.

‘But, from my end, my main focus is just actually playing cricket.’

With Aaron Finch retiring from international one day cricket last Saturday effective immediately, Warner looms as an option to replace him as captain. 

Finch endorsed Warner as a legitimate choice, pointing to his tactical nous.

‘He (Warner) is someone I have played under a few times for Australia when he has had the opportunity to captain,’ Finch told Triple M.

‘He has been fantastic. He is an unbelievable tactical captain and someone at the time the lads loved playing under.

‘Would I like to see (his ban) overturned? Yeah, absolutely.

‘What he can offer not just now as a player but going forward for him to be able to coach and help the next generation of players coming through is so important.

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‘You do your time, and he has well and truly done that.’

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