Michael Clarke blasts Cricket Australia, says David Warner was made scapegoat in leadership review

Image Source : GETTY Clarke, Warner

Former Australia captain Michael Clarke has accused his country’s cricket board of making David Warner the “scapegoat” in its messy handling of his captaincy ban following the ball-tampering scandal.

Backing his former teammate, Clarke said Cricket Australia’s review of the scandal has been inconsistent.

“You can tell he’s disappointed and frustrated,” Clarke said. “I think the other thing that probably hurts a little bit more is the fact Steve Smith is going to captain this Test match.”

  • Why was Warner slammed with a ban of lifetime captaincy?

In the year 2018, Steve Smith and David Warner were found guilty in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. While former skipper Steve Smith was stripped of the captaincy and banned from leading Australia for two years, Warner was slammed with a lifelong leadership ban.

Warner, Smith, and batter Cameron Bancroft were banned from playing domestic or international cricket as punishment for their roles in the infamous ball-tampering scandal. Warner and Smith had been banned for one year, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.

David Warner’s review application:

Warner filed a review application after Cricket Australia altered its code of conduct last month, hoping it will clear his path to be considered for captaincy once again.
Withdrawal of application:

  • The 36-year-old has now given up on his captaincy ambitions and slammed the Cricket Australia panel for making “offensive” comments and questioned the entire process.

“…despite my opposition and that of Cricket Australia, on Tuesday last week Counsel Assisting the Review Panel and the Review Panel took it upon themselves to concoct an irregular procedure (overturning presumptions and previous practice) for the determination of my application and establish a novel approach that would negatively impact the health and welfare of my family and the interests of the Australian cricket team,”
Warner said in a statement, posted on social media platforms.

  • What did Michael Clarke say?

“I can understand Davey’s disappointment. In regards to where Davey is with his age, he’s unfortunately missed out on the captaincy opportunity in my opinion. I don’t think that’s the concern, it’s the fact it’s taken so long to process this or to get to where it’s at.

“I see it as very inconsistent. I find it very hard to believe it’s okay for one but not okay for the other to have a leadership role. If CA decided all the guys involved in what went down in South Africa, none of them were going to play a leadership role, I think that’s a fair call.”

  • Clarke feels Warner has been made the scapegoat for the incident that happened in 2018.

“But if it’s okay for one, if it’s okay for Smithy, it’s got to be ok for (Cameron) Bancroft and it’s got to be okay for Warner.

“I don’t know if it’s fair to make David Warner the complete scapegoat and say everyone else can go back to normal. We’ll forgive you but we won’t forgive Davey.”

Clarke further said he wasn’t 100 percent supportive of any of the three being involved in a leadership role and that the scandal would linger until they retire.

“There’s so much around how that was handled that was just not the right way,” Clarke said.

“Starting from doing the crime – let’s start there. How does it go away, don’t say anything? (Former South African captain) Faf du Plessis just wrote a book and it’s in his book.

“The fact that there’s (only) bits and pieces of what went down is out there to protect so many people is the problem with all of this. If they want to make it public, the whole lot should be made public from start to finish. If it keeps coming up how do you move on? How does cricket move on?

“Unfortunately for this Australian team, a lot of players that were involved then are involved now. So really it seems that until they retire this is just going to keep coming up because there are so many questions around what went down,” Clarke added.

(Inputs from PTI)

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