Former Australia captain Allan Border has become the latest high-profile cricket icon to call for an end to David Warner's lifetime leadership ban.
Warner was widely reported to be the 'mastermind' behind the now infamous ball-tampering saga, which resulted in Cameron Bancroft being caught applying sandpaper to the ball during a Test match against South Africa.
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Bancroft was hit with a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia, while Warner and then-captain Steve Smith were both suspended for 12 months.
The subject has been thrust back into the spotlight recently, with Australia Test captain Pat Cummins backing calls for Cricket Australia (CA) to overturn Warner's lifetime ban.
Warner's wife Candice also hit out recently about what she described as an "injustice" against her husband.
Now 156-Test legend and former Aussie skipper Border has added his weight to the debate, insisting it's about time CA move on from the saga and lift its ban on Warner.
Border says the opening batsman has "paid his penance" for the ball-tampering scandal, and even suggested that the questionable practice is more common around the world than people want to believe.
“It was a harsh penalty in the first place … let’s get on with it; they’ve served their time,” Border said.
“I know that every other side’s doing exactly what we were caught doing. (If) all the captains put their hand on their heart and say ‘I wasn’t doing anything similar’, they’d be telling ‘porky pies’ (lies).
“The bans those boys copped were a bit over the top for the crime, given the knowledge around the cricket fraternity where this has been going on.
“They all had to change the way they went about their cricket.”
Border even went as far as suggesting that "natural" ball tampering - that is without the use of an external aid such as sandpaper or a bottle cap - should be allowed to counteract the flat and lifeless pitches that bowlers encounter around the world.
“Reverse swing is a huge weapon to have at your disposal. On the flattest of wickets, you can still get people out,” Border added.
“There’s one line of thought that you’re not allowed to touch the ball, but there’s also the school of thought that you should allowed, if you get the ball in your hand … just scratching the ball and working on it over a period of time, and you get the ball reverse swinging … what's wrong with that?
“It’s not a bad idea because on flat wickets you need something, otherwise the scores are just going to blow out, and that’s what happens now when we start preparing result wickets, because it’s very hard to get good players out on very flat tracks.”
Candice Warner labels lifetime ban an 'injustice'
Border's comments come after Warner's wife Candice hit out against his lifetime leadership ban in Australia earlier this month.
Discussing the issue on Triple M radio, Candice described it as an "injustice" against her husband.
“Yeah it bothers me. I don’t like injustice so it does bother me,” she said.
“But it doesn’t really bother him because he can go and captain in the UAE, he can go and captain in India where people appreciate his cricketing brain and what he can bring to a team.”
According to News Corp journalist Ben Horne, CA was set to discuss the option of lifting Warner's ban at a July board meeting.
CA are reportedly desperate to have Warner play in the Big Bash, which he hasn't done since its inaugural season in 2011-12.
Warner would be a huge drawcard for the Big Bash, with the domestic T20 showpiece suffering from a lack of interest and low crowd numbers in recent years.
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