Michael Clarke comes out in David Warner's support, slams CA
Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has come out in defense of David Warner, stating the latter has been made the 'scapegoat' of the infamous Sandpapergate scandal. He slammed Cricket Australia for poorly handling the matter and even called the cricket body 'unfair.' Clarke's comments came after Warner withdrew his appeal to overturn his lifetime leadership ban. Here are further details.
Why does this story matter?
- Warner was handed a lifetime captaincy ban over his involvement in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.
- Some amendments in CA's code of conduct allowed him to appeal against the ban.
- Though Warner appealed, he later withdrew, stating the independent review panel wanted him to go through public lynching.
- Now Clarke has come in support of his former teammate. He also sympathized with the star batter.
What did Clarke say?
Besides Warner, Steve Smith, and Cameron Bancroft were also found guilty. However, none of the two was handed a lifetime leadership ban. Smith is leading Australia in the ongoing second Test against West Indies in regular skipper Pat Cummins' absence. Clarke reckons the same would add to Warner's agony. "You can tell he's disappointed and frustrated," Clarke told Big Sports Breakfast.
Clarke sympathizes with Warner
"I think the other thing that probably hurts a little bit more is the fact Steve Smith is going to captain this Test match," said Clarke "In regards to where Davey is with his age, he's unfortunately missed out on the captaincy opportunity in my opinion. I don't think that's the concern, it's the fact it's taken so long to process this," he added.
Clarke calls out Cricket Australia
Clarke further lambasted CA, calling the cricket body unfair. "I see it as very inconsistent. I find it very hard to believe it's okay for one but not okay for the other to have a leadership role. If CA decided all the guys involved in what went down in South Africa, none of them were going to play a leadership role."
Warner slams the independent review panel
Meanwhile, Warner, in a social media post, revealed that he has withdrawn his appeal. The 36-year-old claimed that the independent panel members made offensive comments. As per him, the panel demanded a public trial of him and what occurred during the Third Test at Newlands. This didn't go down well with Warner. He also stated that his family is more important than cricket.
Family above cricket for Warner
"They want to conduct a public spectacle to, in the Panel's words, have a cleansing. I am not prepared for my family to be the washing machine for cricket's dirty laundry," he wrote in a statement across all his social media handles.
Some things are more important than cricket: Warner
To save his family from "further humiliation," Warner said he has no option besides withdrawing his appeal. "I am not prepared to subject my family or my teammates to further trauma and disruption by accepting a departure from the way in which my application should be dealt with pursuant to the Code of Conduct." "Some things are more important than cricket."
Warner's full statement
Cricket Australia reacts to Warner's claim
Responding to Warner's claim, Cricket Australia issued a statement, claiming they had supported the batter's desire to conduct the review. "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," the CA statement said.
Cummins comes out in Warner's support
Amid the ongoing row, Australia skipper Pat Cummins has assured that Warner has the support of the entire time. He also stated that the left-handed batter has been a leader within the group. "We really support David and he's a huge member of our side and he's been fantastic with me throughout my whole career," Cummins told Adam Gilchrist on Fox Sports.
A look at Warner's leadership record
Before facing the ban, Warner was Australia's designated vice-captain across formats. He even led Australia sporadically in white-ball cricket. Under him, the Aussies have lost just one of 12 matches. Warner is unbeaten as captain in his last six internationals. He last led the Aussies in February 2018. In 2016, Warner led Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) to their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) title.