David Warner can have leadership ban overturned

Cricket

By Simon Brunsdon and Brett Graham

UPDATE: David Warner has taken aim at Cricket Australia after the governing body announced changes to its Code of Conduct that will allow Warner to apply for his leadership ban to be lifted.

Warner was handed the lifetime ban in the wake of the sandpaper scandal in South Africa in 2018. But the suspension is on the verge of being scrapped, if the veteran batter chooses to make an appeal.

Cricket Australia’s head of integrity, Jacqui Partridge, conducted the review after a request from the board.

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“Under the changes, players and support staff can now apply to have long-term sanctions modified,” CA said in a statement.

“Any applications will be considered by a three-person review panel, comprising independent Code of Conduct commissioners, which must be satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to justify modifying a sanction.”

For Warner, though, the process has been too drawn-out and the verdict potentially delivered too late.

”It’s frustrating because we could have done this about nine months ago when it was first brought up,” Warner told media on Monday.

“It’s a tad disappointing that when you make a decision in 2018 it’s (made) in four days, and then this takes nine months.

“It actually makes me look like I’m campaigning, which I’m totally not, so from my perspective that’s where it’s been disappointing.

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“It’s been drawn out and it’s traumatic for me and my family and everyone else who was involved in it; we don’t need to relive what happened.

“I’m not a criminal. You should get the right of an appeal at some stage.

“I understand that they put a ban in place, but banning someone for life, I think it’s a bit harsh.”

According to CA, a number of factors will be taken into account if Warner applies to have the ban lifted.

“These circumstances and considerations will include whether the subject of the sanction has demonstrated genuine remorse; the subject’s conduct and behaviour since the imposition of the sanction; whether rehabilitation programs have been undertaken (if applicable) and the length of time that has passed since the sanction was imposed and whether sufficient time has passed to allow for reform or rehabilitation,” it said.

Following the Cape Town Test of 2018, Warner was suspended for 12 months and banned from holding any leadership position for the rest of his career. Steve Smith was also outed for 12 months, with an additional 12 month leadership ban, while Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

Although Warner can apply to have the leadership ban overturned, it’s no guarantee he’d be given the job if it was available.

Newly-appointed one-day captain Pat Cummins was rested from Saturday’s match against England at the SCG, with Josh Hazlewood leading in his place.

Steve Smith and Alex Carey could also do the job.

But Warner could be in line to captain the Sydney Thunder, having recently signed a two-year deal with the BBL club.

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