Steve Smith's phone call to Shane Warne after 'harsh' criticism

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Steve Smith, pictured here during the first Ashes Test against England.
Steve Smith rang Shane Warne after criticism about his appointment as Test vice-captain. Image: Getty

Shane Warne has revealed the phone conversation he had with Steve Smith after criticising the Aussie star's appointment as Test vice-captain.

Warne lashed out at Cricket Australia after Smith was elevated to vice-captain under Pat Cummins following the Tim Paine sexting scandal.

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The Aussie cricket legend couldn't believe that Smith could be handed a leadership role after the 2018 ball tampering scandal, especially when David Warner has been banned from ever holding a leadership role in Australian cricket for the rest of his career.

“Everyone makes mistakes, we know that and we’ve all moved on from sandpaper-gate. But what happened under Steve Smith’s captaincy, he allowed that to happen on his watch," Warne wrote for the Herald Sun.

“His second chance is getting to play for Australia again and in my opinion announcing him as vice-captain opens up CA for ridicule and criticism, and they should throw the code of conduct out the window.”

On Wednesday during the opening day of the first Ashes Test against England, Warne revealed the text message and phone conversation he had with Smith in the wake of his comments.

“I spoke to Steve Smith,” Warne revealed while in commentary for Fox Cricket.

“He messaged me and said, ‘Jeez, you’re a bit harsh on me aren’t you,’ and we talked it out. That’s what respect does.

“Just because someone doesn’t like your opinion doesn’t mean you have to get nasty and personal about it. Everyone’s allowed to have their opinion. Just because you don’t agree with it.

“I was happy Steve Smith contacted me because I consider him a friend. We’ve worked together at the Rajasthan Royals, I used to work with him when he was bowling, was he a leg-spinner a long-time ago?

"So we’ve got a respect for each other and it was nice of him to actually ring me and say, ‘Mate, why did you think that?’

David Warner and Steve Smith, pictured here on the opening day of the Ashes series at the Gabba.
David Warner and Steve Smith leave the field on the opening day of the Ashes series at the Gabba. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

“I told him my point of view and he said, ‘I understand it and I’m sure a lot of people have that point of view too.’

“But it doesn’t mean we don’t like each other, so we respect each other and I like Steve Smith, how could you not? He’s a great guy, he’s one of the best Test batsmen in the world, if not the best in the Test arena, so I think that’s how it should be.

“Someone shouldn’t be personally attacked for having an opinion and just because you don’t agree with it, whatever there is, there’s got to be respect.

“Like he said to me, ‘Mate, you’ve been in the game for 30-odd years, you’ve earned the right to have your opinion and I respect it, I just don’t agree with it.’

“And that’s OK, I just think there’s been too much if you have a different opinion.”

Mark Waugh backs Steve Smith vice-captaincy call

Fellow Test great Mark Waugh disagreed with Warne and said it was the right move for Smith to be handed the vice-captaincy.

“I think it’s the right move to have Steve Smith as vice-captain,” Waugh said.

“He made a mistake, we all know that. We move on, he paid a heavy penalty I feel at the time, so I think he’s probably learnt that.

“We all make mistakes, as long as you learn from your mistakes.

“To me he’s the obvious vice-captain in the team. If Pat Cummins does get a niggle or needs to rest from a Test, you need someone with experience to take over.

"I’m happy with it. Warnie’s got a different opinion on it, which is fine.”

Speaking in the wake of the new leadership appointments, Warne said he believed Warner is being unfairly punished.

“What I don’t understand is why David Warner is the only one still being punished for what happened in South Africa, and the captain who allowed the sandpaper scandal to happen on his watch is now someone CA want to put back into a leadership role," he wrote.

"It just doesn’t make sense."

Smith and Warner were both banned from playing for 12 months for their roles in the sandpaper scandal, while Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

Smith was banned from holding a leadership position for two years, while Warner was barred from ever holding a leadership role for the rest of his career.

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