The charismatic Australia opener David Warner is scheduled to speak with Cricket Australia (CA) president Nick Hockley shortly to discuss the lifetime leadership ban that was placed on him following the ball-tampering fiasco that occurred during the Test series in South Africa in 2018.
Following the incident, which became known as the “sandpaper-gate scandal,” three Australia cricketers — the then-skipper Steve Smith, his deputy Warner, and Cameron Bancroft — were banned from playing in both domestic and international competitions for varying amounts of time, not to exceed a year.
Warner has led the squad to success in multiple campaigns, including Australia’s first title win at the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE last year, since he returned to the team after serving the suspension. Additionally, he has been acting perfectly, leading several current and past cricketers, including Test skipper Pat Cummins, to request that CA lift the veteran player’s leadership ban.
Following Aaron Finch’s retirement, the Australian team’s captaincy position in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) is now open, and Warner is confident he can fill it.
According to a report on foxsports.com.au on Tuesday, despite currently being prohibited from holding any official leadership roles in Australian cricket, Warner is “seemingly not out of the equation despite currently being barred from holding any official leadership role in Australian cricket” even though Test captain Pat Cummins is seen to be the frontrunner for the position.
Warner was cited as saying in the newspaper on Tuesday that he believed there was “more to it,” including 2017’s acrimonious and protracted debate between players and CA over a new MoU, and that the sandpaper-gate affair was not the cause of his lifetime ban from leadership roles.
Warner further said, “Unfortunately a lot of the events before 2018 were with the board. The MoU stuff and all that,”
“There was a lot of stuff that was… things got over and above in terms of more than the Cape Town stuff. There was more to it.
“I think that’s where my decision, the penalty that was handed down was more of stuff that was happening before that,” he added.
“I have spoken to Nick Hockley, we’re going to try and have a catch up. It’s very difficult at the moment… but I’m sure in the next couple of weeks we might be able to. But there’s no rush for anything,” added Warner.
Warner expressed his happiness at being a candidate for the ODI captaincy. “I haven’t had any conversations at all. But look I think at the end of the day any opportunity to captain would be a privilege. But, from my end, there’s a lot of water to go under the bridge, to have those conversations with Cricket Australia and my main focus is just actually playing cricket.”