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New Zealand captain Kane Williamson believes that Australia opener David Warner is “not a bad person”, even though he was involved in the ball tampering scandal that stunned the cricketing community.
It is understood that Warner instructed opening batsman Cameron Bancroft to tamper with the ball on the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town. Captain Steve Smith was also involved in the incident.
As a result, Smith and Warner were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
Smith will not be able to captain Australia for two years, while Warner won’t be considered for leadership roles in the future.
Williamson played alongside Warner for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in last year’s Indian Premier League (IPL). While Warner stepped down as captain and has been barred from featuring in the tournament this year, Williamson got to know Warner while they represented the same team.
Williamson also revealed that he has been in touch with Warner via text message, and feels the public’s reaction to the Australian opener has been over the top.
“He’s not a bad person by any means. Through what’s eventuated in recent times there’s been a lot of emotion and energy pointed at certain players which has gone to extreme lengths,” Williamson was quoted as saying by Radio Sport. “It will blow over in time but it’s grown and grown and like I say he’s not a bad guy.
“They will have to take the strong punishment and move on. You always learn from tough lessons and I’m sure they’ll do that. But it is a shame that two fantastic world-class players (Warner and Smith) have made a mistake.”