Candice Warner has broken down on air after delivering a scathing response to the latest drama surrounding her cricket star husband, David, who has all but given up hope of having his lifetime leadership ban in Australian cricket overturned. On Wednesday, David sensationally withdrew his application to appeal the ban, taking aim at the drawn-out process and the effect it would inevitably have on his wife and kids.
Warner was banned from holding a leadership role within Australian cricket for the rest of his career due to his involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in South Africa after being accused of being the 'architect' behind the ploy to use sandpaper on the ball during a Test match at Newlands. The saga resulted in him and Steve Smith suspended being suspended for 12 months and Warner rubbed out from ever being captain or vice-captain of a team in Australia again.
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However, he was seeking to have the ban overturned after Cricket Australia approved changes to its code of conduct in November, paving the way for Warner to be able to return to leadership positions within the sport. Much of the opening batter's anger was directed at the three-person independent panel in charge of hearing his appeal, who denied the cricketer's request to keep the hearing in-house by not allowing accredited media to attend.
Fearing what he described would be a "media circus" as the panel dredged up the ball-tampering controversy again, and acutely aware of how it could open he and his family up to public ridicule and condemnation all over again, Warner decided to withdraw his appeal. In a lengthy and scathing Instagram post, David insisted: "My family is more important to me than cricket".
Addressing the latest development on Triple M’s Summer Breakfast show, Candice threw her support behind David's decision in a scathing assessment of the whole saga. She said the family had already been put through "hell" since the 2018 sandpaper scandal and her husband had every right not to want to have to go though it all in painstaking detail with an independent panel again.
“We’ve lived with this pain since 2018,” Candice Warner said on Triple M. “And it gets to a point where enough is enough. Dave’s statement was very powerful and it had to be.
“I refer to his statement where he says family comes first. There’s more important things than cricket and he is fiercely protective of his family and just couldn’t (go through with the appeals process)... there are more important things than cricket and that’s the bottom line.
“We have been through hell. To put our family, also his teammates through everything again and the disappointing thing for David is this has been dragged out for so long. Everything first kicked off in February (reviewing Warner’s leadership ban) and it’s now December and still no decision.”
Candice was then reduced to tears after describing to the show's co-hosts Harley Breen and Tom Tilley how the ball-tampering saga - and the hatred directed towards the Warner family - had impacted the couple's three children. She revealed that Ivy Mae, Indi Rae and Isla Rose had been targeted with abuse while attending their father's cricket matches.
“It’s still raw, we go to cricket so often watching David play and there’s always people yelling things out at the crowd,” an emotional Candice said. "My daughters proudly wear their dad’s T-shirt with their dad’s name on the back. The fact that my daughters have to cop abuse because of incidents that have happened in the past is not fair.
“David always puts family first, he’s fiercely protective of myself and the three girls, and cricket is not everything, cricket is what he does, but cricket does not define him and the person he is. “The fact that there was a lack of player welfare, and no welfare about David and our family speaks volumes.”
David Warner did not want appeal hearing to be made public
David, with the support of Cricket Australia, protested the fact that accredited media were able to attend the captaincy ban hearing, in a desperate bid to keep any appeal in-house. That was denied because the independent panel was able to set their own parameters and method around the process.
In a lengthy statement on the eve of the Adelaide Test, and on the same day Steve Smith returned to the captaincy for the second time, Warner lashed out at the situation via an Instagram post supported by multiple teammates. He claimed the panel had not given consideration to the welfare of Warner's family or teammates as the opener suggested the hearing would be akin to a public lynching. He also suggested counsel assisting the panel, who Warner said had since been removed, had made "offensive and unhelpful comments" about him.
"Counsel assisting the review panel appeared to be determined to revisit the events of March 2018 and the review panel appears determined to expose me and my family to further humiliation and harm by conducting a media circus," he said said.
"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. Regrettably, I have no practical alternative at this point in time but to withdraw my application."
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