David Warner's lifelong ban from leadership fundamentally wrong', Steven Smith bats for opener

On the eve of the second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide, Warner made a startling announcement that he would be withdrawing from the procedure put in place by Cricket Australia

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, December 12, 2022, 01:15 PM IST
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Steve Smith has described David Warner's lifelong ban from leadership as fundamentally incorrect admitting that the lengthy ordeal of trying to reverse it had been a distraction for him.

On the eve of the second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide, Warner made a startling announcement that he would be withdrawing from the procedure put in place by Cricket Australia after they rewrote their code of conduct to allow Warner to appeal the ban.

"From my point of view, banning for life from leadership is just fundamentally wrong. David served his time like I did. For us, we know he's a leader around the group, and on and off the field he's doing a tremendous job," said Smith after Australia's 419-run victory as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

Warner and Cricket Australia (CA) had requested a private hearing before the independent panel, but the commission ordered that it should be done in public, which Warner claimed would have resulted in a lynching and he was unwilling to subject his family and teammates to a retrial of the events at Newlands in 2018.

CA CEO Nick Hockley defended the organization's handling of the incident, saying the independent panel was necessary for openness and that he was disappointed Warner had withdrawn. However, his colleague at the Australian Cricketers' Association, Todd Greenberg, felt Warner was left with no choice and voiced irritation that the CA had not handled the appeal themselves.

"It's been a difficult one for him, it's been a difficult week. It has been more of a distraction for Davey, no doubt, going through that himself. David has said he's done and dusted and get on with it. He's got our full support. Hopefully, he can have a really big series for us against South Africa with the bat," added Smith.

Warner scored 21 and 28 in the second Test, following 5 and 48 in Perth, to continue his poor form in Test cricket over the last two years, averaging just 28.12 without a century. He is scheduled to play his 100th Test against South Africa in Melbourne at the end of the month, but questions have been raised over whether he should be included in the cricket tours to India and England, where his averages are 24.25 and 26.04, respectively.

Smith, on the other hand, believed that Warner needed a change of fortune more than anything else to see the big runs return. South Africa is one of his most productive opponents, with an average of 52.26 from 12 Tests, including four hundreds, albeit that drops to 40.18 in Australia.

Inside edges driving against Alzarri Joseph and Roston Chase, a nick to the keeper chasing a wide delivery, and a bat-pad catch to short leg have been his mode of dismissals in this series.

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