Warner leaves it late‚ but accepts fate for ball-tampering
David Warner left it late but he has accepted the consequences of masterminding the ball-tampering scandal that took the wheels off Australia’s tour to South Africa.
“I have today let Cricket Australia [CA] know that I fully accept the sanctions imposed on me‚” Warner wrote on his Twitter account on Thursday.
“I am truly sorry for my actions and will now do everything I can to be a better person‚ teammate and role model.”
Warner made his announcement just more than an hour before the deadline CA had set for appeals‚ and a day after co-conspirators Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft said they would not challenge their sentences.
Earlier reports said Warner was considering challenging his sanction‚ while the Australian Cricketers’ Association have criticised the severity of the punishment the players have been given.
A CA investigation found Warner had hatched a plot to roughen the ball with sandpaper during the third Test at Newlands last month.
The plan had been made with captain Smith’s knowledge and was carried out by Bancroft‚ the most junior member of the team.
The conspiracy was exposed when television cameras spotted Bancroft taking the sandpaper from his pocket.
CA banned Smith from playing international and senior domestic cricket for a year and will not consider him for leadership positions for a year after that‚ while Bancroft was banned for nine months.
Warner‚ who arrived in South Africa as Australia’s vice-captain‚ copped the heaviest punishment: banned for a year and told he would never again be in a position of leadership in the national team.
Darren Lehmann was not implicated‚ but he said last Thursday that the fourth Test at the Wanderers‚ which ended on Tuesday‚ would be his last as Australia’s coach.
The series had been level at 1-1 going to Newlands‚ where South Africa beat their clearly rattled opponents by 322 runs.
The home side triumphed by 492 runs at the Wanderers — their biggest win in terms of runs‚ Australia’s second-heaviest defeat and the heaviest since 1928‚ and the fourth-biggest victory by runs in Test history — to clinch their first series against the Aussies in this country since 1970.
Sponsors have deserted CA and the players in the wake of the saga‚ which has also cost Smith and Warner their lucrative deals with Indian Premier League franchises.
But the players will continue to be paid their CA retainers‚ in Smith’s case the equivalent of R17.9 million a year and Warner R12.6 million.
Warner’s decision means there will be no need for hearings‚ which could have further damaged CA’s reputation.
The organisation is conducting a review of the culture of the team‚ which will also focus on the management and board.
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