David Warner has accepted the sanctions handed to him by Cricket Australia for the ball-tampering incident in the Cape Town Test. The former vice-captain was banned from all international cricket and Australia domestic matches, for 12 months. He will also never be considered for a leadership position within the team in the future.
“I have today let Cricket Australia know that I fully accept the sanctions imposed on me,” Warner said on Twitter. “I am truly sorry for my actions and will now do everything I can to be a better person, teammate and role model.”
Warner made his intentions public a day after former captain Steven Smith and Cameron Bancroft had also chosen not to challenge the bans imposed on them. All three players had been given the right to take the matter to a hearing and push for leniency. They had until 5 pm local time on Thursday to make their decisions; Warner revealed his with little over an hour left on the clock. As a result, he will only be eligible to play for Australia sometime in April 2019. The 50-over World Cup in England begins on May 30.
On Tuesday, the Australian Cricketers’ Association appealed to CA to reduce the sanctions on all three players, suggesting the punishment was disproportionate to the crime. The incident took place on the third day at Newlands when Bancroft was caught on camera rubbing the ball with sandpaper. An investigation by CA’s Head of Integrity, Iain Roy, claimed that Warner had come up with the idea and got Bancroft to tamper with the ball, while Smith was in knowledge of the plan and did not prevent it. A tremendous fallout – with pressure from the Australian public and the government – led to all three players being sent home from South Africa before the fourth and final Test of the series. Tim Paine became the new captain of Australia and Darren Lehmann resigned from his post as head coach.
Smith and Bancroft faced the media upon arriving in Sydney and Perth respectively and broke down while expressing deep regrets. Warner held his press conference on March 31, when he said he was resigned to the possibility that he may never play for Australia again.
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