Cricket-Warner looking forward to no Sandpaper-gate flak in retirement

  • Cricket
  • Tuesday, 18 Jun 2024

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC T20 World Cup 2024 - Group B - Australia v England - Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados - June 8, 2024 Australia's David Warner looks on REUTERS/Ash Allen

(Reuters) - Australia's long-serving opener David Warner says he is looking forward to avoiding "flak" about the Newlands ball-tampering scandal when he retires after the T20 World Cup.

Cricket Australia's investigation into "Sandpaper-gate" in 2018 painted Warner as the chief orchestrator, though former test captain Steve Smith and opener Cameron Bancroft were also given lengthy bans for their involvement.

Warner was the only one of the three to be given a life-long ban from holding leadership roles in Australia's international teams and gave up a bid to overturn it in late-2022.

"Coming back since 2018 I've probably ... been the only one that's ever copped a lot of flak," he told Cricket Australia's website.

"Whether it's people who don't like the Australian cricket team or don't like me, I've always been that person who has copped it.

"It's fine if they want to do that, but I always feel like I've taken a lot of pressure off a lot of guys as well and I think understandably I've been that person to be able to absorb that.

"But one can only absorb (so much). For me, it's great to go out knowing I'm not going to cop it anymore."

Warner has already quit test and one-day cricket and will bow out of T20Is at the end of the ongoing World Cup in the United States and the Caribbean.

The lefthander said he would always be linked with the Newlands scandal but hoped he would also be remembered as a fast-scoring trailblazer among opening batters in test cricket.

"If they're real cricket tragics and they love cricket .... they will always see me as that cricketer -- someone who tried to change the game," he added.

"Someone who tried to follow in the footsteps of the openers before me and try and score runs at a great tempo and change test cricket in a way."

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Michael Perry)

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