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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 05 March 2024

Hard to say if Warner will get full respect from public after sandpaper-gate: Simon Katich

David was also handed a lifetime leadership ban for his involvement

PTI Sydney Published 04.01.24, 07:00 AM
David Warner.

David Warner. File picture

Former Australia middle-order batsman Simon Katich feels David Warner will never get the public’s “full respect” due to his complicity in the 2018 ball-tampering episode, as a lot of people back home couldn’t believe what their team had done.

Three players — then skipper Steve Smith, his deputy Warner and Cameron Bancroft — were banned following the ‘sandpaper-gate’ scandal that took place during the 2018 Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

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Warner was also handed a lifetime leadership ban for his involvement. The 37-year-old’s reputation in public took a massive beating and Katich believes that five years down the line, he has not been forgiven completely.

“I think it’s hard to say ‘full respect’ because there is always going to be an element of the public that didn’t like what happened, and rightfully so,” Katich told Sen Radio on Wednesday. “A lot of us couldn’t believe what the Australian team resorted to.”

However, Katich feels Warner, who recently announced his retirement from ODIs and is currently playing his farewell Test, should not be blamed entirely for the episode. “But to blame him entirely for that whole episode is pretty naive.

“I think in time, I’ve got no doubt there will be more said about it.

“He took the wrap along with Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith. But I think the public feel there was more to it than just those three,” said Katich.

Smith was stripped of his captaincy and banned for a year in the wake of the scandal alongside Warner, while Bancroft was banned for nine months.

Katich added that it would have been very difficult for Warner to overcome the setback and get on with his game. “At the time, I think what he did was he kept his mouth shut after the initial apology and then got on with trying to go back out there and playing as good a cricket as he possibly could.

“That wouldn’t have been easy to do.

“What’s done is done, but for David to be able to get back to where he got to after such an enormous event like it was in Cape Town... it was significant to think that he was able to get back and play good cricket after that event.”

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