Pat Cummins has insisted the Australian Test team stands firmly behind David Warner, after the opening batsman ditched his appeal against his lifetime leadership ban. Warner opted to drop pursuing the appeal, furious at the prospect of a public appeal.
Further allegations about the 2018 ball tampering incident in South Africa which led to Warner's ban, along with then Test captain Steve Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft, have since come to light. Warner's manager, David Erskine, claimed two Cricket Australia executives had encouraged players to tamper with the ball in order to get it to reverse-swing following a Test defeat at Hobart in 2016.
A former executive who is believed to have been in the room at the time has since contacted AAP to deny Erskine's allegations. Cricket Australia is yet to publicly comment.
Speaking after stumps on day two of the second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide, Cummins said he wasn't aware of Erskine's allegations. Despite Warner's looming appeal and the subsequent abandonment of it, Cummins said the 36-year-old had the full support of his teammates.
"I chatted to Davey today and he is great," Cummins said on Fox. "We really support Davey. He is a huge member of our side and been fantastic for me my whole career.
"In this side he has been an awesome leader, especially the past few years. He has our absolute support, we really back him and respect his decision."
Cricket Australia had recently changed its code of conduct to allow Warner to appeal the lifetime ban. CA confirmed that they had supported Warner's request for the panel to hold the hearing behind closed doors.
Those plans were stymied when the panel of three independent Code of Conduct commissioners able to set their own parameters. "We are disappointed with this outcome, as our intention was to give David the opportunity to demonstrate why his lifetime leadership ban should be varied at an independent hearing and we amended our Code of Conduct accordingly," a CA spokesman said.
Players back David Warner to find Test form after leadership debacle
Several players have previously spoken out in support of Warner being allowed to resume official leadership roles. Marnus Labuschagne backed Warner's 'consistency' in his attitude around the team, despite his recent Test struggles with the bat.
Warner was dismissed for 21 in Australia's first innings against the West Indies, with the drought since his last Test hundred dating back to January 2020. Despite this, Labuschagne said Warner had an important role to play.
"The thing with Davey is he's just so consistent around the group and he's so loved by the group," Labuschagne said when asked if Warner's mood had changed with the off-field drama.
"I really enjoy his company. I haven't really felt too much of a shift, but obviously there has been a lot on his mind."
Cummins backed Warner to break his spell of poor form, arguing it was a matter of time before his strong showing in the recent ODI series translates to the Test arena. Warner bashed an impressive 106 against England in the ODI series finale at the MCG in late November.
"Davey has been great. That's one of his biggest strengths," Cummins said. You don't know if he has scored a hundred or hasn't scored that day. He's the same Davey who turns up. He is hitting the ball beautifully in the nets and two weeks ago he hit a big hundred in the ODI format."
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