Making his return to professional cricket in the inaugural Global T20 Canada league in Toronto on Friday (June 29), tainted Australia opener David Warner was spotted with a new bat sticker. For the first time in nearly a decade, Warner was not using a Gray-Nicolls bat, instead his willow was sporting Spartan stickers.
Ever since his international debut against South Africa at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in January 2009, Warner was batting with the Gray-Nicolls bat. The southpaw has plundered 6363 Test runs, 4343 ODI runs and 1792 T20I runs with a ‘Gray-Nic’ in his hand.
Unfortunately, Warner was bowled by Lasith Malinga for just 1 on his return to cricket. However, his team Winnipeg Hawks secured a comprehensive 46-run victory over Montreal Tigers at Maple Leaf North-West Ground, King City.
As per the reports in cricket.com.au, the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town might have some connection with Warner’s bat swap.
Cricket Australia had imposed a one-year ban on Warner for his involvement in the ball-tampering plot at Newlands in March. Besides Warner, CA had also issued severe punishments on former Australia captain Steve Smith and the rookie opener Cameron Bancroft. While Smith was suspended for 12 months, Bancroft was barred from international cricket for a period of 9-month.
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.
Warner’s next game for Winnipeg is against Vancouver Knights at the Maple Leaf North-West Ground, King City on Sunday (July 1).