Cricket Australia (CA) chief James Sutherland has made it clear that former Australian vice-captain David Warner can absolutely wear his baggy green cap after serving the suspension period that was imposed on him following the ball-tampering scandal.
Following his return from South Africa, Warner had broken down during the press conference in Sydney, while stating that he might never get a chance to represent Australia again.
The southpaw has been banned by Cricket Australia (CA) for 12 months after he was found to be the instigator of the ball-tampering saga that shook the cricketing fraternity in March. Besides Warner, CA had also issued severe punishments on former Australia captain Steve Smith and opener Cameron Bancroft. While Smith was banned for one-year, Bancroft was barred from international cricket for a period of 9-months.
In an exclusive interview with Gerard Whateley on Melbourne radio station SEN, Sutherland insisted that all the three players deserve their chances.
“Absolutely, I think everyone deserves their chance and their own personal redemption story is very much in their own hands now. Each of them have to go about that during the time they’re out of the game and prove that their worthy (and) prove to the Australian selectors that they should want them back. They deserve that opportunity,” the CA chief said.
“I feel for all three players. I feel forgiveness for all of them. I feel sympathy for them and I want to see them all comeback and play their best cricket. I believe they all can,” he added.
Taking specifically about Warner, Sutherland said: “David was very focused on being a better cricketer, being a better leader, being a better person and he worked very hard on those things. There were certainly good signals in that regard.”
When asked if appointing Warner as the deputy of Smith was a wrong decision on CA’s part, Sutherland asserted: “On one hand, it’s easy to look back in hindsight and say all those kinds of things but there were a lot of good positive signals around him in terms of how he was responding as a leader.”
Following their investigation, Cricket Australia had also mentioned that the convicted trio will have to complete 100 hours of community service before being considered for future selection.
While Smith and Bancroft will have to wait two years before they are considered for leadership roles, Warner will never again be considered for captaincy. Although Smith, Warner, and Bancroft are still eligible to compete in club cricket they can’t take part in state or international games for the duration of their suspensions.
“Part of the design within the sanctions was to allow them to stay connected with the game. I also see part of our role is to support them with their state associations and their clubs, to help them stay hungry and come back and play their best cricket,” Sutherland concluded.