regular-article-logo Wednesday, 26 June 2024

I've moved on from lifetime captaincy ban, enjoyed IPL leadership stints: David Warner

Warner was handed a lifetime leadership ban after team-mate Cameron Bancroft was caught with sandpaper in his trouser pocket and Australia admitted to ball-tampering during the Cape Town Test against South Africa in 2018

PTI Sydney Published 01.01.24, 02:59 PM
David Warner

David Warner File photo

The controversy surrounding the lifetime captaincy ban on David Warner following the 2018 ball-tampering scandal could have been handled differently but he has moved on from that episode, the retiring batting stalwart said here on Monday.

Warner was handed a lifetime leadership ban after team-mate Cameron Bancroft was caught with sandpaper in his trouser pocket and Australia admitted to ball-tampering during the Cape Town Test against South Africa in 2018.


Among the three cricketers who were punished -- captain Steve Smith and Bancroft being the other two --, Warner got the harshest punishment.

Following an amendment to Cricket Australia's Code of Conduct for players and staff in 2022, the left-handed batter was to appeal against the ban but later decided not to do so as he apparently found out that the review panel hearing was to be done in public.

"When I look back at that, it can be handled differently. But I think Nick (Hockley, Cricket Australia's chief executive) did his ultimate best to put that forward to the board and the decision was made, and I'm happy with that. I've moved forward from that," Warner said after he announced his retirement from ODI cricket alongside the end of his Test career this week.

Warner was asked if he still held any bitterness over the lifetime leadership ban and the way Cricket Australia handled the review into that.

The 37-year-old swashbuckling opener has already announced that he will retire from the longest format after the third and final Test against Pakistan starting at the SCG on Wednesday.

Warner, who has led Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals in the IPL, said he enjoyed his leadership stints in the lucrative T20 league.

"I've got opportunities to lead in the IPL, to lead in the ILT20. I've enjoyed my leadership roles.

"But for me, in recent years, I've learned that leadership (isn't about) wearing a captain or vice-captain badges. For me, I'm a leader in this team no matter what. You don't need that C or VC next to your name.

"I know myself and my energy at times can be annoying, and I can be a pest, but I know that inside that changeroom it gets everyone up and about." Asked what he had learnt from the ball-tampering scandal, he said, "...Reflecting back on that whole period, my whole career, I've got no regrets because you are going to have a lot of hurdles you are going to have to jump.

"There's going to be obstacles in the way, but you have to move forward and I've done that with dignity." Warner also revealed that he was prepared to retire from Test cricket after the second match of the 2023 Ashes series at Lord's if he had not scored runs. The selectors initially named the Ashes squad only for the opening two Tests, and Warner was struggling for form then.

"I actually had Lord's pencilled in as my last Test, especially if I didn't go as well as I did in a partnership with 'Uzzie' (Usman Khawaja) at the top of the order. Then from there, it just followed on that we played some good innings together. I didn't have that hundred (in England) that I always wanted but always eluded me in achieving. But as a team and as a whole we did our bit.

"To get this ending is awesome, but it's not about me, it's about us. We've won the series (against Pakistan) but to win 3-0 and have a whitewash here at the SCG would be a great thing for the team. We can't take away the fact of how well this team has been (playing) in the last 18 months." About the 50-over World Cup triumph in India, he said, "To win in India, from where we were, was absolutely amazing. Everything's just so calm and relaxed inside the team. We back ourselves to train to the best of our ability and then go out there and perform.

"There's never any added pressure. When we lost two games in a row in India (in the World Cup), the bond just got stronger with each other. It's not by fluke or by chance that we were able to get to where we were." He said he does not have any wishes that he could have done anything different because he has given it his best.

"A boy from a housing commission having a dream. I've not always fitted the mould, but I've been authentic and honest. I've played the exact same way. Someone who has gone out there and just given it his all," he said when asked how he would want to be remembered.

He picked the 2014 Test series win against South Africa as his favourite moment of his career, besides the Ashes triumphs.

His 100 in a session at the SCG against Pakistan in 2017 and the 335 not out -- also against Pakistan -- in 2019 were Warner's favourite innings.

He picked former South African fast bowler Dale Steyn as the toughest bowler he had faced in his career.

Warner also hinted more national team-mates might retire in the near future.

"It might not just be me (retiring), but no-one (else has) said anything, so I think it just is me. But it was a decision that I was very, very comfortable with."

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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