David Warner’s manager has sensationally claimed players were given permission to tamper with the ball by unnamed officials some 16 months before the Cape Town scandal.
The drama of Warner’s leadership ban continued on Thursday after Warner pulled his application to have his sanction lifted due to frustration over the public nature of the process.
The opening bat returned to the field on Thursday for the first time since his Wednesday evening statement, batting with the same aggression in his 21 from 29 balls against West Indies.
Warner cut, drove and cover-drove Alzarri Joseph for three boundaries in one over, before being caught behind off the West Indies quick in the first session of the match.
But off the field, the drama continued.
Approval ‘given’ after flogging in Hobart in 2016
In an interview on SEN, Warner’s manager James Erskine suggested players had been given approval to tamper with the ball after the 2016 flogging from South Africa in Hobart.
In the same match South African Faf du Plessis was later charged with applying saliva to the ball with a mint in his mouth, as Australia was bowled out for 85 in the first innings.
“Two senior executives were in the changing room in Hobart and basically were berating the team for losing against South Africa,” Erskine said on SEN.
“Warner said we’ve got to reverse-swing the ball. And the only way we can reverse-swing the ball is by tampering with it.
“And so they were told to do it.”
Cricket Australia is yet to comment on the latest revelations.
Erskine’s comments came as questions continued to be raised over how CA lost control of its own code of conduct changes.
Warner has been pushing since February to have his leadership ban reviewed, before the governing body initiated a change to its code of conduct two months ago.
That change was finalised last month, allowing Warner to lodge an application to have his lifetime ban reviewed based on his growth since then and contrition.
CA have confirmed it had supported Warner’s request for the independent panel to hold the hearing behind closed doors.
Hearing into ban review was to be public
But both they and Warner were told on Wednesday that would not be the case, with the panel of three independent Code of Conduct commissioners able to set their own parameters.
“We are disappointed with this outcome as our intention was to give David the opportunity to demonstrate why his lifetime leadership ban should be varied at an independent hearing and we amended our Code of Conduct accordingly,” a CA spokesman said.
“We supported David’s wish for these discussions to be heard behind closed doors and respect his decision to withdraw his application.”
In his lengthy statement, Warner claimed the panel had not given consideration to the welfare of his family or teammates, the opener suggesting the hearing would be akin to a public lynching.
He also suggested counsel assisting the panel, who Warner said had since been removed, had made “offensive and unhelpful comments” about him.
Warner’s wife Candice also hit out at the process on Thursday.
“The fact that my daughters have to cop abuse because of incidents that have happened in the past is not fair,” she told Triple M.
“It’s still raw, we go to cricket so often watching David play and there’s always people yelling things out at the crowd.
“Our family’s already suffered and endured so much pain. Why do it now? What’s it going to achieve?”
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