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Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland has revealed that opening batsman David Warner will be allowed to play for Australia again once he serves his 12-month ban.
Warner is understood to have played a leading role in the ball tampering scandal that stunned the cricketing world. The incident occurred on the third day of the third Test against South Africa in Cape Town, and it is believed that Warner instructed fellow opening batsman Cameron Bancroft to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper.
As a result, Warner and Steve Smith were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months. Smith won’t be allowed to captain Australia for two years, while Warner won’t be considered for leadership roles in the future.
However, Sutherland reiterated that Warner will be permitted to represent Australia once his ban expires.
“Absolutely, I think everyone deserves their chance and their own personal redemption story is very much in their own hands now,” Sutherland told SEN as quoted by cricket.com.au. “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.
“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 come back and play their best cricket. I believe they all can.
“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.”
When asked if it was a mistake to appoint Warner as vice-captain back in 2015, Sutherland said: “It’s easy to make those observations in hindsight. 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.
“You’ve only got to go to the end of our season in Australia before the team went to South Africa where he captained the team (in) a successful tri-series T20 competition to victory.
“All of the reports were that he led the team with aplomb. His leadership in all that was outstanding.
“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.”