CA boss refuses to rule out Warner return

David Warner (Gallo)
David Warner (Gallo)

Melbourne - Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland says the door is not shut on disgraced opener David Warner to return to the national fold.

Warner was banned for a year alongside Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith for his involvement in the ball tampering saga that overshadowed the recent tour to South Africa.

In an interview with Gerard Whateley on Melbourne radio station SEN, Sutherland insisted that all three players deserve second chances.

"Absolutely, I think everyone deserves their chance and their own personal redemption story is very much in their own hands now.

"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."

Many believe Cricket Australia was excessively harsh on the trio who all issued tearful press conference apologies on arrival in Australia and Sutherland has sympathy for the men.

"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," Sutherland said.

"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."

Sutherland defended the decision to appoint Warner as vice-captain in 2015.

"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."

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