Cricket Australia has never protected the interests of the players and David Warner’s outburst over the captain’s suspension has exposed the “tendencies of the authorities to protect the rear”, believes the legendary Ian Chappell.
Warner on Wednesday withdrew the bid to have his lifetime captaincy ban overturned, saying the review panel wanted him “publicly lynched” and that he is unwilling to let his family be the “washing machine for cricket’s dirty laundry”.
Chappell became the last to back Warner after former skipper Michael Clarke also lashed out at CA for their skewed assessment of his leadership ban and scapegoating the southpaw in the 2018 sandpaper scandal.
“I couldn’t be happier that David Warner told Cricket Australia the equivalent of ‘go and get stuffed’ when he came out about his decision to withdraw his request for a review of his suspension as captain,” Chappell wrote in a column. for ESPNCricinfo.
“This indicated that Warner – who had been advised by CA against a public outburst – did not trust the authorities to consider his interests. It was a wise decision by Warner, as CA is known to only protect their own interests, not those of players.” “Young players should be thankful that Warner exposed CA’s proclivity for backside protection. They should keep it in mind for the future.
“Most importantly, Warner’s retraction of his review shows how appalling the original decision was to award him a lifetime leadership ban,” the cricketer-turned-commentator commented.
Subsequently, Aussie skipper Steve Smith and his then-deputy Warner were both suspended for 12 months after Cameron Bancroft was caught applying sandpaper to the ball during a match in South Africa in 2018.
While the trio served respective suspensions from cricket, they also served leadership suspensions. Smith was banned from holding a leading position in Australian cricket for two years, while Warner was banned for life in that regard. Bancroft was banned from the captaincy for 12 months.
Noting that Warner and Smith “should have received the same leadership sentence after the Cape Town incident”, Chappell noted that the latter’s “crime was greater”.
“Cheating is indefensible, but so is Smith as Australia captain who said ‘I don’t want to know’ as he walked past Warner and Bancroft, who were deeply arguing in the dressing room before going ahead with the plan to messing with the ball,” the 79-year-old wrote.
“As captain, it was Smith’s job to know what his players were up to. If their motive was illegitimate, he had to put an end to all the shenanigans quickly.
Smith’s crime was greater than Warner’s. So it was no wonder that Warner was furious about his harsh original sentence, while others were treated much more leniently.
The former Australian captain berated the authorities for the way they handled the matter.
“In the run-up to the events in South Africa and in the aftermath, CA made regular mistakes because self-protection is a high priority for them.
“The unilateral punishments, the failed integrity assessment in South Africa and then the absurd decision not to allow an appeal by the Australian players – their list of failures goes on and on. No wonder Warner was fed up, but he chose the right target to attack.”
36-year-old Warner is still alive with the leadership ban, four years since the infamous Cape Town Test, but Smith is back in the lead in the ongoing day-night second Test against the West Indies after pulling out of skipper Pat Cummins’ injury .
“I doubt Warner expected to take a leadership position in Australia’s set-up, even with a successful overhaul of the ban he was handed after South Africa’s 2018 ball-tampering debacle,” Chappell wrote. “He is too old to qualify for a position as a captain in the Australian regime, despite the fact that he has always had great leadership instincts. “However, I think Warner had hoped that he could one day lead his BBL team, Sydney Thunder. Too bad, because he would have been the ideal person to guide younger players on their cricket path. Don’t worry about CA as he will still be a leader and he will be listened to by every cricketer who wants to get ahead. Chappell believes that Warner was “hated” by a CA administrator for speaking out against the administration in their pay dispute.
“Whether Warner disliked an administrator, or because he was willing to speak out during the feisty pay dispute is unknown and likely to remain so. What is known is that Warner will not be bullied.” Chappell pushed Warner to write a tell-all book, writing: “He will have his say and if he reveals it all in a book later, it will be worth reading. It may take some work to get his book published as there will be a lot of red faces walking around when it reaches the public.