January 25, 2023

David Warner DRAWS bid to strip his lifetime captaincy as opener lashes out at Review Panel for seeking a ‘public lynching’ over his role in 2018 sandpaper scandal: ‘My family is more important to me than cricket’

David Warner will withdraw his bid to have his lifetime captaincy ban lifted, dropping a bombshell on the eve of the Adelaide Test by claiming the review panel wanted to relive the events of the ball-mess saga.

After nine months of pushing for the suspension to be lifted, the lead-off hitter of the past two weeks filed for review.

However, the 36-year-old claimed that counsel assisting the case wanted a review of the 2018 Cape Town Test itself, which Warner claimed would be made public.

Warner said both he and Cricket Australia had insisted this should not happen, but was told on Wednesday the process would stand.

In turn, Warner issued a lengthy statement on Wednesday evening claiming he would withdraw his application to have his suspension lifted.

“Despite my opposition and that of Cricket Australia, the counsel assisting the review panel and the review panel took it upon themselves last Tuesday to devise an irregular procedure (overturning assumptions and previous practice) for the determination of my application and adopt a new approach that would adversely affect the health and well-being of my family and the interests of the Australian cricket team,” he said.

“In its comments, Counsel Assisting made hurtful and unhelpful comments about me that had absolutely no substantive purpose under the Code of Conduct.

‘Unfortunately, the Review Panel acted contrary to the claims made by Cricket Australia and my lawyer and seemed to take the position of Counsel Assisting almost entirely.

“In fact, Counsel Assisting, and, it seems, to some extent the Review Panel, want to have a public trial against me and what happened at the Third Test at Newlands. They want to have a public spectacle to, in the words of the panel, have a ‘cleaning up’. I’m not prepared for my family to be the washing machine for cricket’s dirty laundry.

‘My family is more important to me than cricket.

Over the course of the nearly five years since the events of the Third Test in Cape Town, despite all the humiliations and assaults they have endured, I have enjoyed the unwavering support and love of my wife Candice and my three daughters , Ivy Mae, Indi Rae and Isla Rose,” he wrote. ‘They are my world.

“Since that test, and while my ban on leadership roles may never be lifted, I’ve taken it upon myself to reshape, rehabilitate and transform my approach to the game.

“I have served and am subject to a crushing, unprecedented punishment that has had a terrible impact on me and my family for the past nearly five years — with no prospect of any relief to date.”

Warner, along with former captain Steve Smith and young teammate Cameron Bancroft, were at the center of one of the biggest scandals in Australian sporting history in South Africa four years ago.

Bancroft was caught applying sandpaper to the cricket ball to give the bowlers an unfair advantage when attempting to bowl the Proteas.

The young batsman was banned from playing for nine months, while Smith and Warner were banned from cricket for 12 months, and Smith was given a further 12-month leadership sanction, while Warner was barred from captaincy for life after serving as the leader.

More to follow.

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