David Warner’s international career is at a crossroads. Picture: AFP
David Warner’s international career is at a crossroads. Picture: AFP

Warner urged to speak out after being thrown under bus

DAVID Warner has been urged to break his silence on the warts and all Sandpapergate story after being thrown under the bus by Australian cricket.

Warner has landed at the crossroads of his international career after two explosive interviews from Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith subliminally painted him as the villain.

On a basic level, Bancroft's decision to out Warner as the person who told him to tamper with the ball and Smith's insistence that he walked past a conspiracy rather than plotting one simply echoed the findings of Cricket Australia's initial investigation into the Cape Town crisis.

However, beneath the surface a bigger picture has been painted of Warner being isolated and pushed into a corner by teammates and the game.

It's understood Cricket Australia went into panic mode Wednesday when details of Bancroft's damning interview were released, in part due to fears over what the reaction from Warner might be.

Warner's role as the architect of sandpapergate might have been reinforced by Bancroft and Smith, but many across the game remain skeptical as to how only three men in the dressing room had knowledge of the ball-tampering.

It seems an eon ago, but David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were once building a solid partnership at the top of the Aussie order. Picture: AAP
It seems an eon ago, but David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were once building a solid partnership at the top of the Aussie order. Picture: AAP

Test legends Adam Gilchrist and Mark Waugh called on Warner to tell-all about what led to the Cape Town scandal - for the sake of his international career.

"There's no doubt Davey Warner would be feeling so isolated at the moment," said Gilchrist.

"I don't think the world is shocked to hear that (Warner told Bancroft to do it).

"… (but) there's obviously a bigger picture at play. Dave would be feeling isolated but I would encourage David to come out wherever and just be honest and as open as you feel you need to be to be allowed then to get back to playing cricket."

Warner has spoken publicly on a few occasions but is yet to properly tell his side of the story, with many in the game nervous about what he might say if and when he does.

"I think it'd be good for everyone to hear his side of the story and how it got to that situation where they thought to do what they did," said recent Test selector Waugh, who insists he would pick Warner for the World Cup and Ashes.

Bancroft and Warner.
Bancroft and Warner.

Cricket Australia's investigation conducted by then-integrity officer Iain Roy interviewed only a limited selection of the touring party and it's understood focused exclusively on the events of day three in Cape Town, and did not examine whether ball-tampering had taken place in previous Test matches.

"The thing is the dark cloud from that day still hangs over this team," former Test spinner Kerry O'Keeffe said.

"What David Warner (says) will help lift that cloud."

It was reported that Cricket Australia will take the extraordinary step of canvassing the opinion of the current men's team before deciding whether to allow the banned players back into international cricket, and it appears the attitude of players towards Warner remains strained.

Former Test opener Simon Katich indicated Bancroft and Smith's interviews were damning for Warner - but said "if they're treating them all equally" the disgraced vice-captain should get another chance if he "does everything right".

"It certainly adds another element to the whole saga," Katich said.

Bancroft, 26, said he "didn't know any better" than to agree to Warner's request, but despite fingering him as the man who made the request - he also claimed he would have felt "like I'd let everybody down" had he not carried out the sandpaper plot.

At this stage Cricket Australia remains adamant only three men knew about the scandal before Bancroft was captured on big screens stuffing sandpaper down his pants.

"The events of Cape Town were investigated and dealt with some nine months ago now so there's no new news there," said CA chief Kevin Roberts.

"What's important at this point is that we work with the players and with the leaders of the team on the reintegration of the sanctioned players when they become eligible for selection."

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