February 6, 2023

David Warner WITHDRAWS bid to lift lifetime captaincy ban amid ‘public lynching’

David Warner WITHDRAWS bid to lift his lifetime captaincy ban as opener lashes out at Review Panel for seeking a ‘public lynching’ over his role in 2018 sandpaper scandal: ‘My family is more important to me than cricket’







David Warner will withdraw his bid to have his lifetime captaincy ban lifted, dropping a bombshell on the eve of the Adelaide Test by claiming the review panel wanted to relive the events of the ball-tampering saga.

After nine months of pushing for the ban to be lifted, the opening batter in the last fortnight submitted an application to have his review undertaken.

However the 36-year-old claimed the Counsel assisting on the matter wanted a review of the 2018 Cape Town Test itself, which Warner claimed would go public.

Warner said both he and Cricket Australia had pushed for that not to happen, but was told on Wednesday that process would stand.

In turn, Warner issued a lengthy statement on Wednesday evening claiming he would withdraw his application to have his ban lifted.

‘Despite my opposition and that of Cricket Australia, on Tuesday last week Counsel Assisting the Review Panel and the Review Panel took it upon themselves to concoct an irregular procedure (overturning presumptions and previous practice) for the determination of my application and establish a novel approach that would negatively impact the health and welfare of my family and the interests of the Australian cricket team,’ he said.

‘In his submissions, Counsel Assisting made offensive and unhelpful comments about me that had absolutely no substantive purpose under the Code of Conduct.

‘Regrettably, the Review Panel acted contrary to the submissions of Cricket Australia and my lawyer and appeared to adopt virtually entirely the position of Counsel Assisting.

‘In effect, Counsel Assisting, and, it appears, to some extent the Review Panel, want to conduct a public trial of me and what occurred during the Third Test at Newlands. They want to conduct a public spectacle to, in the Panel’s words, have a ‘cleansing’. I am not prepared for my family to be the washing machine for cricket’s dirty laundry.

‘My family is more important to me than cricket.

‘Over the course of the past nearly five years since the events that occurred during the Third Test in Cape Town, even with all the humiliation and attacks that they have had to endure, I have enjoyed the unwavering support and love of my wife Candice and my three daughters, Ivy Mae, Indi Rae, and Isla Rose,’ he wrote. ‘They are my world.

‘Since that Test and even though my ban from leadership roles may never be lifted, I have taken it upon myself to reform, to rehabilitate and to transform my approach to the game.

‘I have served and been subject to a crushing, unprecedented, penalty that has horribly impacted me and my family for the past nearly five years – without the prospect of any relief until now.’

Warner, alongside former captain Steve Smith and young teammate Cameron Bancroft, were at the centre of one of the biggest scandals in Australian sporting history in South Africa four years ago. 

Bancroft was caught applying sandpaper to the cricket ball so as to give the bowlers an unfair advantage when attempting to skittle the Proteas. 

The young batsman served a nine-month playing ban while Smith and Warner were handed 12-month bans from cricket, with Smith hit with a further 12-month leadership sanction, while Warner was prohibited from serving as a captain for life after being deemed the ringleader.

More to follow. 

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