Veteran Aussie cricket star David Warner is still far from happy about how his infamous Cricket Australia (CA) leadership saga played out. In a fresh swipe at the governing body ahead of Australia's World Test Championship (WTC) final against India next week, Warner has taken aim at CA and admits he was “extremely disappointed” with how the ugly saga unfolded.
In December, Warner sensationally withdrew his application to have a lifetime CA leadership ban overturned after accusing the independent panel adjudicating on it of wanting to dredge up the ball-tampering controversy again. Warner was banned from holding a leadership role within Australian cricket for the rest of his career due to his involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.
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The saga resulted in him and Steve Smith suspended being suspended for 12 months and Warner rubbed out from ever being captain or vice-captain of a team in Australia again. Warner said he was not willing to revisit the massive toll the ugly sag took on him and family and was left frustrated by CA's decision to appoint an independent panel to rule on his captaincy ban.
In a new interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Warner accused CA of a "lack of leadership" and says "no one wanted to be accountable" when it came to a decision on his leadership future. The 36-year-old said it was "ridiculous" to have the saga hanging over his head during the Australian summer of cricket, especially seeing as though it had dragged on for so long.
“They could have nipped it in the bud straight away, but I’m getting a phone call day one, two, three of the Test matches and speaking to lawyers etc when I didn’t need to," Warner said. “I actually felt disrespected in the way that I wasn’t able to actually have a clear mind to play the game and concentrate on the game.
“So from that perspective it wasn’t even like, ‘Oh, let’s stop and we’ll come back to this.’ It was nine months, it was launched in February (2022). I was extremely disappointed.”
David Warner under pressure leading into Ashes
Warner will enter the WTC final against India at the Oval beginning on June 7 as the Australian under the most pressure. Set to return to the team after injury ended his tour of India earlier this year, Warner is clinging onto the opening role after only one triple-figure score in Test cricket since January 2020.
Coach Andrew McDonald stressed last week that Warner had a role to play in the Ashes, indicating he was guaranteed selection for more than just the WTC final. Regardless, runs will be vital for the 36-year-old.
Warner knows runs at the Oval against India or the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston will be vital if he hopes to control the fate of his cricket career. Warner's battles in the 2019 series in England against Stuart Broad were well known, with 95 runs at an average of 9.5 across his 10 innings in that series. Broad accounted for a staggering seven of Warner's dismissals.
The veteran batter's 61 at Headingley was also the only score by an Australian opener above 20, as Broad also ran through left-handers Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris. Australia could have similar challenges at the top again again in 2023 as Warner, Usman Khawaja, Harris and Matt Renshaw are all left-handed and Broad is once again looking in dangerous form.
The England says his side got off to an "almost perfect" start to their summer of cricket, with Broad taking 5-51 from 17 overs to help dismiss Ireland for 172 runs on the opening day of the one-off Test at Lord's. Broad ripped through the Irish top order, with with Jack Leach helping himself to three wickets and Matthew Potts securing a brace of scalps.
Ben Duckett and Zak Crawley both scored fifties in a century opening stand to help England close on 1-152 in a confidence-boosting showing before the first Ashes Test. Broad's fellow quicks James Anderson and Ollie Robinson were both rested ahead of the Ashes opener on June 16.
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