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David Warner admits he for a long time feared he would never play for Australia again after the ball-tampering scandal before his return at the World Cup.
Warner capped off the early stages of his return in style on Wednesday, hitting his first century for Australia since Boxing Day 2017 in their 41-run win over Pakistan at Taunton.
The left-hander arrived at the World Cup in form, having hit more than 2200 runs at an average of above 50 in global Twenty20 leagues and Sydney grade cricket during his 12-month ban from the Australian side.
But speaking publicly for the first time since returning to the team, Warner revealed he was driven by a concern his international career was over.
"There was always that going through my mind," Warner said.
"And I think that's what drove me to keep being as fit as I can, keep scoring as many runs as I can in the Twenty20 tournaments that I was playing in.
"Going through those tough times and sort of regrouping with myself to put myself in the best position to come back to international cricket.
"I did everything I could. I really, really knuckled down and trained my backside off."
Warner no doubt copped more flak than any other player in the fallout of Cape Town.
There were several reports he'd fallen out with teammates, and serious questions asked at least externally over whether he could ever return to the national side.
The 32-year-old was also served with a life ban from any leadership position in the Australian team, painted as the architect of the sandpaper plan that also saw Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft suspended.
"I was always coming back to international cricket if selected," Warner said.
"The thing that kept me going was my wife and my kids. I got great support at home, my family. And my wife is just, she's just my rock. She's unbelievable.
"I hold a lot of credit to her. She's a strong woman. And she got me out of bed a lot in those first sort of 12 weeks, and got me back running and training."
Warner has returned with results.
After overcoming a glute strain at the start of the tournament - which he said was a result of pushing himself too hard - he is now the second leading run-scorer in the World Cup.
"Coming back, that soreness that you normally get, it put a smile on my face," he said.
"I'm just grateful for this opportunity and as I said before, I'm just really looking forward to what's coming ahead of us here in the World Cup."
Aussies survive close shave
Warner fired and Pat Cummins did his job with the ball but Australia are still some way from clicking in the World Cup following their win over Pakistan.
After Warner's 107 helped Australia to 307, the defending champions survived a scare to have Pakistan all out for 266 in the 46th over.
But while the victory margin made it sound simple, the reality was anything but.
Cummins appeared to have Pakistan reeling at 6-160 after he took the key wickets of Imam-ul-Haq (53) and the dangerous Shoaib Malik (0), finishing with 3-33.
But Pakistan's lower order had other ideas, with first Hasan Ali (32 from 15) and then Wahab Riaz (45 off 39) putting their team back in the game.
With the equation down to 44 off 35 and three wickets in hand, Starc (2-43) removed Wahab and Mohammad Amir in the same over to end Pakistan's hopes.
His dismissal of Wahab was to some degree fortunate after the Pakistani was given not out to a caught behind appeal on field, before captain Aaron Finch reviewed with one second left on the countdown clock.
Replays showed the ball that had just nipped away from him brushed the edge of the bat to have him out, before Starc then bowled Amir two balls later.
Glenn Maxwell then finished the job, producing an acrobatic run out of Sarfraz Ahmed (40) the following over.