Australia's David Warner (Associated Press)
Australia's David Warner (Associated Press)

David Warner has bizarrely claimed his lifetime leadership ban from Cricket Australia isn’t due to the cheating scandal in South Africa back in 2018.

On what was a dark day for Australian sport, David Warner was painted as the chief instigator behind the infamous ‘sandpaper gate’ controversy, which saw Cameron Bancroft caught applying sandpaper to the ball during a spiteful Test match in Cape Town.

Cameron Bancroft was later issued a nine-month ban by Cricket Australia (CA), while David Warner and then Aussie captain Steve Smith were both suspended for 12 months for bringing the sport into disrepute.

Cameron Bancroft With Steve Smith Photo-ICC
Cameron Bancroft With Steve Smith Photo-ICC

David Warner Bizarrely Claims His Captaincy Ban Isn’t Due To 2018 Sandpaper Gate Controversy But MOU Dispute In 2017

Speaking at the summer of cricket launch for Kayo Sports on Tuesday, David Warner, 35, reiterated his desire to be reinstated into a leadership role for Australia.

The dynamic opening batsman pointed to the dispute between players and CA over a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2017 as to the reason he believes he hasn’t been in the mix for leadership opportunities with Australia –  not what unfolded in Cape Town.

“Unfortunately, a lot of the events before 2018 were with the [CA] board. The MOU stuff and all that,” David Warner said.

“Things got over and above, in terms of the Cape Town stuff. There was more to it. I think that’s where my decision, the penalty that was handed down was more [linked to] stuff happening before that,” David Warner said.

David Warner believes his lifetime leadership issued by Cricket Australia isn't due to the cheating scandal in South Africa back in 2018
David Warner believes his lifetime leadership issued by Cricket Australia isn’t due to the cheating scandal in South Africa back in 2018 @AAP Image

“I think at the end of the day it’s about what questions do they [the CA board] want to ask me. That’s where the conversation starts and then we can lead from there. It’s almost a completely new board from when 2018 happened. I would be interested to see and hear what their thoughts are,” David Warner said.

In contrast, Steve Smith was Pat Cummins’ deputy for the Test team in the Ashes last summer. A pending meeting with Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley is expected to provide David Warner with the answers he craves.

“At the end of the day, any opportunity to captain would be a privilege,” he added.

With Aaron Finch retiring from international one-day cricket last Saturday effective immediately, David Warner looms as an option to replace him as captain.

Aaron Finch announced that he was pulling the pin on his 50-over international career after his 146th match in the dead rubber third ODI against New Zealand in Cairns on Sunday. However, he will continue as the T20I skipper and will lead the nation ahead of the home 2022 T20I World Cup later this year.

Aaron Finch Endorsed David Warner To Succeed Him As ODI Skipper After Retiring From ODIs

Aaron Finch endorsed David Warner as a legitimate choice, pointing to his tactical nous.

“He (Warner) is someone I have played under a few times for Australia when he has had the opportunity to captain,” Aaron Finch said.

Australia's Aaron Finch ©Reuters
Australia’s Aaron Finch ©Reuters

“He has been fantastic. He is an unbelievable tactical captain and someone at the time the lads loved playing under. Would I like to see (his ban) overturned? Yeah, absolutely. What he can offer not just now as a player but going forward for him to be able to coach and help the next generation of players coming through is so important. You do your time, and he has well and truly done that.”

Australia’s dynamic opening batsman wants to be reinstated into the leadership role. David Warner was issued a lifetime leadership ban by CA after ‘sandpaper gate’ in 2018. The 35-year-old feels he has served his time and may replace Aaron Finch as ODI skipper. He will soon meet with Cricket Australia boss Nick Hockley to discuss the situation.

Cricket Australia will likely wait until after the 2022 T20I World Cup to name Aaron Finch’s replacement as one-day captain, coach Andrew McDonald said. After leading Australia to a 3-0 series victory over New Zealand in Cairns on Sunday, Aaron Finch announced his retirement from ODI cricket. However, the opener is still in charge of the T20I team.

Andrew McDonald claimed that rather than selecting Aaron Finch’s replacement, the staff was more concerned with defending Australia’s 2021 T20I World Cup on home soil.