David Warner in staggering twist around lifetime leadership ban

David Warner, pictured here during the second T20 between Australia and England.
David Warner looks on during the second T20 between Australia and England. (Photo by Chris Hyde - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

Cricket Australia have hinted that they'll likely overturn David Warner's lifetime leadership ban, with directors looking at re-writing the organisation's code of ethics.

Warner was hit with a lifetime ban from holding any leadership positions within Australian cricket due to his role in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Warner was dubbed the 'architect' of a plan that resulted in Cameron Bancroft being caught rubbing sandpaper on the ball during a Test match in Cape Town.

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The 35-year-old has been lobbying Cricket Australia in recent months to have the ban overturned, and has been mentioned as a candidate for Australia's vacant one-day captaincy role.

But under current rules, players who accept a sanction under the code of ethics waive their right to have the matter reviewed in the future.

It means CA's code would need to be re-written for Warner's ban to be reviewed, something directors say they will discuss at a board meeting on Friday in Hobart.

"The view within Cricket Australia is that David is doing particularly well on the field and making a great contribution off the field," chairman Lachlan Henderson said on Thursday.

"The first step in terms of David's leadership ban is to review the code and see if those sanctions are able to be reviewed.

"And the appropriate revisions to that code that would need to be made."

Henderson said the code would be re-written if deemed necessary, before a call on the one-day captaincy is made.

"Our intention is to review the code as quick as is practical. It's not in anyone's interest for us to delay that," Henderson said.

"It would be in time for any future leadership conversations in relation to David."

CEO Nick Hockley said players had a right to show they had changed since the point of being handed a lifetime ban.

"In very simple terms, we are looking at sanctions to be reviewed for good behaviour and growth after a period of time," Hockley said.

"Pending tomorrow's discussion, there would then need to be a revision of the code and that would need to be approved by the board."

David Warner, pictured here in action for Australia during the second T20 between Australia and England.
David Warner in action for Australia during the second T20 between Australia and England. (Photo by James Worsfold/Getty Images)

Cricket world reacts to news about David Warner

Warner's leadership ban was thrust back into the spotlight in recent months after he agreed to end a nine-year exile from the Big Bash League to sign with the Sydney Thunder.

Warner's wife Candice had previously revealed that he'd never play BBL again if he couldn't captain his side.

CA's re-consideration of the ban is believed to have been pivotal in his decision to return to the BBL.

With Aaron Finch announcing his retirement as ODI captain, Warner's name has been thrown in the ring as a potential replacement.

The news that Warner's lifetime ban could possibly be overturned has sparked a mixed reaction in the cricket world.

David Warner, pictured here with his wife and children at the MCG in 2021.
David Warner with his wife and children at the MCG in 2021. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

While some believe the lifetime ban was way too hefty in the first place, others think it was more than appropriate due to the overt cheating that occurred.

Will Macpherson of The Telegraph in the UK wrote on Thursday: "Ending David Warner’s leadership ban proves Australia’s cultural reset was a sham.

"We knew already that the cultural reboot undertaken by Australian cricket in the wake of 'sandpapergate' was purely appeasement for a baying global cricket public.

"The year-long bans handed to Warner and (Steve) Smith were punchy, but the addition of a life ban from leadership for the former was absurd.

"Whether Warner actually captains Australia or not, it is time for CA to acknowledge the error of 2018."

with AAP

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