Paine urges Australia to overturn Warner leadership ban, NOW

Tim Paine has emphatically backed David Warner to captain Australia, believing the veteran opener has been more than punished for his role in the ball-tampering scandal.

Warner remains unable to hold a leadership position in Australian cricket after copping a lifetime ban following the infamous sandpaper saga in South Africa in 2018.

But Cricket Australia have opened the door for Warner to appeal that ban after earlier this month proposing a change to its code of conduct.

In an in-depth interview ahead of the release of his eagerly anticipated book, The Price Paid, Paine has urged CA to promote Warner or risk losing him to cashed-up overseas T20 leagues.

“He’s absolutely been treated too harshly over the incident in South Africa,” the former Test captain told The Australian.

“For some reason, he is still being punished for it and I don’t understand that. 

“Dave said a few weeks ago that he thinks it is a culmination of him being the voice a few years ago of the MOU (the bitter pay dispute between CA and players in 2017).

“I think they have a chance to do a good thing and overturn it now but they’re saying they’d have to rewrite some part of the constitution, so do it.”

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 09: David Warner of Australia raises his bat after reaching his half century during game one of the T20 International series between Australia and England at Optus Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

(Photo by Paul Kane – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Paine became Test skipper amid the fallout from the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, taking over from Steve Smith.

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But the wicketkeeper was forced to quit the Australian captaincy in disgrace himself after historic explicit text messages between him and a Cricket Tasmania employee came to light weeks before last year’s Ashes.

Paine’s successor in the Test ranks, Pat Cummins, was announced as Aaron Finch’s replacement as ODI captain this week.

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The 37-year-old described Cummins’ appointment as a “good move” but the star quick is expected to rest from some white-ball matches and other players will almost certainly get extended opportunities to lead Australia.

“David is probably the best candidate and if you watch him bat at the start of this summer he looks like vintage David Warner, he’s fit as a fiddle, he’s got plenty of cricket left in him,” Paine said.

“It makes sense to incentivise him, otherwise we could lose him to all the franchise leagues around the world.

“For some reason he is unfairly maligned, but if you play cricket with that bloke, he is on your team, he’s trying to do everything he can to win for the team.”


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