Tuesday , June 15 2021

Warner ‘treated despicably’ in ‘joke’ investigation

David Warner’s manager says that the Test superstar was “treated despicably” in the ball tampering scandal and the truth of the incident will come out.

Opening batsman Warner copped a 12-month playing suspension and a lifetime leadership ban after being fingered as the ringleader of ‘Sandpapergate’, Australia’s 2018 ball tampering scandal in Cape Town.

Then-captain Steve Smith and junior opening batsman Cameron Bancroft were also sanctioned. Bancroft has now suggested that the team’s bowlers knew what was going on, a claim given added credence by former Australian captains Ian Chappell and Michael Clarke.

Warner’s agent, James Erskine, said that the Cricket Australia process which deemed only the three players responsible was “a joke”.

“The report that was done, they didn’t interview all the players. The whole thing was so badly handled, it was a joke,” Erskine told Nine Newspapers.

“But eventually the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, will come out and I know the whole truth. But it doesn’t serve any purpose because the Australian public over a period of time got to dislike the Australian team because they didn’t behave particularly well.

“There is absolutely no doubt that Smith, Warner and Bancroft were treated despicably. The fact of the matter is they did the wrong thing but the punishment didn’t fit the crime. I think if one or two of those players had taken legal action they would have won because of what the truth was.”

Erskine has previously suggested that Warner will give a full account of Sandpapergate when he writes a post-career autobiography.

Warner’s Ashes nemesis, England paceman Stuart Broad, said that it was highly unlikely that bowlers wouldn’t have known about nefarious treatment of the ball.

“I’ve obviously never bowled within the Australian bowling attack but I can talk about how, in an England Test team, if I miss the seam by four millimetres Jimmy Anderson is on to me saying, ‘Why has this ball got a mark on it here? It’s because you’ve missed the seam: start hitting the seam, will you?'” Broad said, per The Guardian.

“With reverse swing with the red ball, it can be affected by so many different things. If you chase it to the boundary and throw it into the grass, it can smooth the ball over and stop it reversing. If you touch the ball with wet hands, it will stop it reversing. If you shine it in a way that smooths over the rough side, it will stop it reversing.

“So as an England team, we are aware if we’re trying to get the ball reversing every player has to buy into that or it will stop it. I didn’t see any of the inquiry into what happened but I have seen a couple of comments from David Warner’s agent. I think it will be an interesting time when [Warner] stops playing for Australia and writes a book.”

Cricket Australia has said that it is open to receiving more information about Sandpapergate and has reached out to Bancroft.

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