'I'm not a criminal' – Warner welcomes chance to challenge Australia leadership ban

By Sports Desk November 21, 2022

David Warner has welcomed the chance to have his lifetime ban from captaining Australia reviewed following a change in Cricket Australia's (CA) code of conduct, while lamenting the delay in allowing him to appeal.

CA ruled that the opening batter would never hold a leadership role again due to his part in the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

Warner, who was said to have played a key role in Cameron Bancroft using sandpaper to alter the condition of the ball during the Test against South Africa in Cape Town, had been touted as a candidate to replace Aaron Finch as ODI skipper following his retirement from the format in September.

While Pat Cummins was named as Finch's successor last month, the door may be open to Warner captaining his country in the future after CA amended its code of conduct.

Players were previously unable to appeal against sanctions after accepting them, but Warner is relieved to have the opportunity to seek a review of his ban under a new policy.

"I'm not a criminal," Warner said on Monday. "You should get a right of an appeal at some stage. I understand that they put a ban in place, but banning someone for life, I think it's a bit harsh.

"Where it's been disappointing is it's taken this long to get to where it has. It was brought up in I think February this year. So it's been drawn out.

"It's traumatic for me and my family and everyone else that was involved in it. We haven't needed to go back into that detail. We don't need to relive what happened.

"But it's good to get in a position where we are now today. It gives me an opportunity to ring up the integrity unit to have a word to them and put forward my case of, I guess, the 100 hours [of community service] that I did in 2018.

"Basically, all this good behaviour stuff that I've done, I think I have to put forward, so I'm happy to do that."

In a statement released on Monday, CA said: "Players and support staff can now apply to have long-term sanctions modified.

"Any applications will be considered by a three-person review panel, comprising independent code of conduct commissioners, which must be satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to justify modifying a sanction."

CA's new policy allows for the panel to modify punishments if it is felt the recipient has "demonstrated genuine remorse" or shown good behaviour since the ruling, while they will also consider the length of time which has passed since a sanction was issued.

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