‘I’m not a criminal’: Warner blasts ’traumatic’ lifetime ban — which may finally end soon

‘I’m not a criminal’: Warner blasts ’traumatic’ lifetime ban — which may finally end soon

‘I’m not a criminal’: Warner blasts ’traumatic’ lifetime ban — which may finally end soon

David Warner is disappointed and frustrated at how long it has taken Cricket Australia to change their code of conduct regarding leadership positions, declaring, ‘I’m not a criminal’.

Warner was famously suspended for 12 months for his role in ‘Sandpapergate’ on the tour of South Africa in early 2018, a scandal which also saw Steven Smith and Cameron Bancroft cop 12- and nine-month bans respectively.

The fallout from that dark chapter in Australian cricket history also included a lifetime ban for Warner from holding any leadership positions.

Now that CA has paved the way for Warner to become a captain, or vice-captain, after allowing players to appeal their sanctions from Monday, the star opener lamented the slow process which finally led to this point.

“I’m not a criminal,” Warner told reporters on Monday.

“You should get a right of an appeal at some stage. I understand that they (CA) put a ban in place but banning someone for life I think is a bit harsh.

“So it’s just an opportunity to come out and show that I’m remorseful, I’ve done all my time to get back into the Australian cricket set-up.

“It’s one of those challenging ones where I feel like it’s all about me now campaigning – that’s what it looks like and it’s totally not that.

“It’s frustrating because we could’ve done this about nine months ago when it was first brought up.

“It’s unfortunate that obviously ‘Finchy’ (one-day captain Aaron Finch) retired and then they fast-tracked it in their own way.”

Warner was disappointed by the fact that it only took CA four days back in 2018 to dole out their hefty penalties to him, Smith and Bancroft, yet it’s taken them nine months to finally adjust their code of conduct.

“That’s the hardest thing,” Warner said.

“Unfortunate that the decisions that were made (in 2018) by the board that was there, there’s only one (member) left there I think, and obviously the CEO is gone.

“The sanction was handed down by the board to the integrity unit.

“It’s been a difficult process but we’ll just have to wait and see.

“But it’s good to get in a position where we are now today and it gives me an opportunity to ring up the integrity unit to therefore have a word to them and put forward my case of the 100 hours (of community service) that I did in 2018 for what happened.

“All this good behaviour stuff that I’ve done I have to put forward so I’m happy to do that, I’ll have to wait and see in due course when my schedule fits to be able to do that.

“It’s been five years in the making. For me, I’ve done everything I’ve had to do possibly right.”

As to whether he would like to captain Australia before he retires, Warner said that was “out of my hands”.

But he has described the process of reliving his role in the Cape Town scandal as “traumatic” for him, his family and everyone that was involved in the saga.

“It’s been drawn out,” Warner said.

“We haven’t needed to go back into that detail and we don’t need to relive what happened. What happened, happened and we’ve done our best to move on and put our best foot forward and do the best we can for Australian cricket.

“Hopefully a decision can be made and we can move forward.”

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