The continuing saga of Australian test cricket batsman David Warner having his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering saga against South Africa in 2018 dredged up has got ridiculous.

While we don’t condone what Warner allegedly did in encouraging team-mate Cameron Bancroft to use sandpaper to rough p one side of the ball so the Aussie quicks could get reverse swing going, Warner and then captain Steve Smith’s punishment far outweighed the crime.

The only thing Bancroft did wrong was get caught because every test team has been guilty over the years of doing exactly the same thing, although not necessarily using sandpaper to alter the ball.

I played club cricket for 38 years and during that time most of the teams I played in we would do something to rough up one side of the ball if the bowlers were struggling to get it swinging if conditions favoured batsman. Whether it be roughing the ball up on a hard dry part of the outfield as you picked it up, applying hair gel or sun screen to help polish one side of the ball and even picking the seam to make it more pronounced and therefore more likely to deviate off the pitch.

Warner, Smith and Bancroft were publicly humiliated, particularly Smith and Warner and both lost their leadership positions in the Australian side.

“So I think Davey has certainly done his time, he’s served a very, very hard penalty that a lot of guys, myself included, doing things wrong as well, didn’t get even close to the penalty that Smith, Bancroft and Warner got."

The sandpaper gate incident in South Africa was world cricket’s chance to get the Aussies who for good reason were arguably the most despised team in test cricket because of their abrasive attitude and often over the top sledging of opposition players. The world had little sympathy for them at the time.

The latest episode of of sandpaper gate required Warner to have to go through all the evidence again in order to be cleared for a leadership role in the Australian team and understandably he refused to go through all that again.

Cricket Australia have behaved very poorly through this whole affair and once again appeared to have thrown Warner under another bus.

How come Steve Smith is able to captain Australia again, although I have absolutely no issues with that.

Worst of all, Warner’s wife Candice and their children continue to cop disgusting abuse at grounds where their husband and dad is playing including the recent test in Adelaide where Candice, a woman I greatly admire for sticking up for her family, was subject to vile abuse from a group of ferrels in the crowd as she walked around with her children to see David.

David Warner - The Family Man

To cap off a horror week for the under siege opener, his former team-mate Michael Clarke has come out this week encouraging the South African team to give it to him on the field in the upcoming test at the Gabba.

What a complete plonker Clarke is, a man pretty quick to whinge when people got on his case during his cricket career.

I hope Warner gives Aussie cricket the middle finger and does what several players are starting to do now and ply his trade in the lucrative T20 leagues around the world.

Love him or not love him, Warner is a fantastic batsman and to his total credit he has drastically changed his ways as far as his attitude to playing is concerned. He is popular with his team-mates in Australia and India where he plays in the IPL.

It’s a wonder given the pressure he’s under from old wounds being opened up, that he’s even playing at all and it’s obviously having an adverse effect on his batting.

“I said a few months ago I think he (Warner) deserves an opportunity to captain again, he’s done his time,” “It was so long ago, and to still have that and the aftermath of that is not nice for him and his family. “You don’t want players to go through that over and over again and especially not their families.”

I hope the brilliant left-hander comes out and makes a blazing century at the Gabba this week against what looks like a formidable South African fast-bowling unit.

Warner’s predicament reminds me a little of former New Zealand opening batsman Lou Vincent. He confessed to being involved with match fixing and the reward for him confessing was to be banned from any involvement in cricket for the rest of his life when so many others players quite probably involved got away scott free.

Interview & Words by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous


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