David Warner's staggering reveal about Aussie leadership ban

·4-min read
Seen here, David Warner walks back to the pavilion during an ODI game for Australia.
Calls are growing louder for Cricket Australia to end David Warner's lifetime leadership ban. Pic: Getty

David Warner admits it would be a "privilege" to captain Australia after claiming there was more to his lifetime leadership ban than just the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Warner was widely reported to be the 'mastermind' behind the 'sandpapergate' controversy, 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 (CA), while Warner and then-captain Steve Smith were both suspended for 12 months.

Officials opted to hand back some leadership responsibilities to Smith last summer, when they made him new skipper Pat Cummins' deputy for the Test team.

However, there has so far been no movement on Warner's lifetime leadership ban, with the batter revealing a meeting with Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley is on the cards in the coming weeks.

Warner, Smith and Test skipper Pat Cummins are among the most experienced players in line to replace Aaron Finch - Australia's former ODI captain who retired from the format after his side's 3-0 series win against New Zealand over the weekend.

Speaking to reporters at a summer of cricket launch for Kayo Sports on Tuesday, Warner reiterated his ambition to be reinstated into a leadership role with Australian cricket.

The 35-year-old feels as well as the 2018 cheating scandal in South Africa, his Aussie leadership ban was also driven by a drawn-out dispute between players and CA over a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2017.

“Unfortunately a lot of the events before 2018 were with the board. The MOU stuff and all that,” Warner said.

“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.

“I think at the end of the day it’s about what questions do they (the CA board) want to ask me.

“That’s where the conversation starts and then we can lead from there. It’s almost a completely new board from when 2018 happened.

“I would be interested to see and hear what their thoughts are."

Former skipper wants David Warner ban lifted

Finch made his feelings abundantly clear about ending Warner's leadership ban, having called time on his ODI career.

"He (Warner) is someone I have played under a few times for Australia when he has had the opportunity to captain," Australia's former ODI skipper told Triple M.

"He has been fantastic. He is an unbelievable tactical captain and someone at the time the lads loved playing under.

"Would I like to see (his ban) overturned? Yeah, absolutely.

"What he can offer not just now as a player but going forward for him to be able to coach and help the next generation of players coming through is so important.

"You do your time, and he has well and truly done that."

Seen here, Aussie batter David Warner facing New Zealand in game two of their three-game ODI series.
Aussie batter David Warner heads out to face New Zealand in game two of their three-game ODI series. Pic: Getty

Warner says he plans to have a catch-up with CA chief Hockley to discuss ending his leadership ban, and admits that while captaining Australia would be an honour, he's more focused on just playing good cricket for his nation.

“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,” Warner said.

“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.”

Cummins is also a leading candidate to replace Finch as Australia's new ODI captain, along with wicketkeeper Alex Carey.

However, the Aussie quick has made it clear that he does not want to captain the nation in all three formats, and that the Test side is his number one priority.

“Being a captain in all three formats, if you had to play every game, is just not realistic,” Cummins told reporters at Tuesday's launch.

“If it comes up and it works, it would obviously be a huge privilege, but if not, it’s totally fine.

“I don’t want anything to take away from my role as Test captain, so there’d be a bit to work through.”

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