David Warner cops brutal blow in bid to overturn leadership ban

David Warner and Steve Smith, pictured here in action for Australia.
David Warner and Steve Smith were both banned for their roles in the ball-tampering scandal. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

David Warner's hopes of overturning his Cricket Australia leadership ban have taken a hit after details emerged about the process that would be involved with lifting the ban.

Warner was suspended for 12 months and given a lifetime leadership ban from Cricket Australia over his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in 2018.

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Steve Smith was also banned 12 months and barred from holding a leadership position for two years, but has since returned to the vice-captaincy role in Australia's Test side.

With Aaron Finch's recent retirement as Australia's one-day international captain, the issue of Warner's leadership ban has come up once again.

It is believed the opening batter has asked Cricket Australia to review the ban, with the option of captaining a BBL team thought to be one of the reasons he ended his long absence from the T20 competition.

But fresh details have come to light about the process that would be involved in overturning the ban, and it doesn't make for good reading for Warner.

According to Daniel Brettig of the Sydney Morning Herald, Cricket Australia can't lift the ban unless the board consults the integrity unit that investigated the ball-tampering scandal at the time and dramatically changes its own code of conduct.

Warner's penalty was handed out under the code of conduct, which doesn't allow players the right of appeal if they have already accepted sanctions without requesting a hearing.

That means the Cricket Australia board would have to undertake a re-writing of the code of conduct in order to overturn Warner's ban.

Brettig also reported that the original investigation might need to be relaunched, with Warner, Smith and teammates needing to be interviewed all over again.

Warner was widely reported to be the 'mastermind' behind the ball-tampering scandal, which resulted in Cameron Bancroft being caught applying sandpaper to the ball during a Test match against South Africa.

David Warner, pictured here with wife Candice and their daughters in 2021.
David Warner with wife Candice and their daughters in 2021. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

Warner, Smith and Test captain Pat Cummins would be among the most experienced players in line to replace Finch as Australia's ODI skipper.

Warner made the bombshell claim earlier this month that he believes his leadership ban is about more than the ball-tampering scandal and was related to other factors that took place before 2018.

“Unfortunately a lot of the events before 2018 were with the board,” 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."

Aaron Finch backs David Warner as ODI captain

Finch said Warner would be the ideal replacement as captain, despite the 35-year-old's international career coming to an end.

"He (Warner) is someone I have played under a few times for Australia when he has had the opportunity to captain," Finch 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.

David Warner and Aaron Finch, pictured here in action for Australia against Sri Lanka.
David Warner and Aaron Finch in action for Australia against Sri Lanka. (Photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images)

"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."

Warner said he planned to have a chat with CA chief Nick Hockley to discuss ending his leadership ban.

“I haven’t had any conversations at all. But I think at the end of the day any opportunity to captain would be a privilege,” he 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.”

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