80 We will serve our full bans

Sunday Herald Sun - - Cricket - JU­LIAN LIN­DEN SYD­NEY

DAVID Warner has pleaded for ev­ery­one to stop squab­bling over whether he, Steve Smith and Cameron Ban­croft should have their bans re­duced so they can get back into the strug­gling Aus­tralian team.

As much as Warner would love to be play­ing for his coun­try, the ex­plo­sive opener said the de­bate over whether their lengthy sus­pen­sions should be re­duced was un­der­min­ing the cur­rent team.

In his first pub­lic com­ments since he re­turned to Aus­tralia af­ter the ball tam­per­ing scan­dal in South Africa in March, Warner said he had ac­cepted the idea that he would have to serve the full ban.

“At the end of the day I’m sit­ting here 12 months on the side­line,” Warner said af­ter his highly-an­tic­i­pated grade match against Smith at Coogee Oval.

“That’s my take on it and that’s why I want ev­ery­one to keep be­ing pos­i­tive about the guys who are play­ing (for Aus­tralia) and pump them up be­cause we can’t just sit here and say, ‘They’re go­ing to be in, they’re not go­ing to be in’.”

De­spite Warner’s best in­ten­tions, the is­sue of whether the banned trio will make a quick re­turn isn’t go­ing away af­ter the Aus­tralian Crick­eters As­so­ci­a­tion ini­ti­ated an ap­peal on their be­half.

Cricket Aus­tralia had re­jected the no­tion of re­duc­ing the sus­pen­sions, but in the wake of the damn­ing Longstaff re­view and the high-pro­file ex­its from CA last week, noth­ing can be ruled out.

When asked whether the play­ers had been con­tacted by the ACA about the ap­peals, Warner said they were leav­ing ev­ery­thing up to the union.

“What the ACA do is they are rep­re­sen­ta­tives for us and we thank them for their sup­port,” Warner said.

Smith has not made any pub­lic com­ments since his teary press con­fer­ence and main­tained his vow of si­lence af­ter his Suther­land team beat Warner’s Rand­wick Peter­sham club by three wick­ets.

The pair shook hands be­fore and af­ter the match and chat­ted sev­eral times on the field.

“There’s been a lot of me­dia talk that we don’t get along and that I’ve thrown him un­der the bus here and there. But it’s good com­edy for us be­cause we just sit back and laugh,” Warner said.

“We catch up with each other and text each other. We don’t read it all, but some of the fun stuff that the boys throw for­ward we just laugh at it.”

He said the two were lov­ing the chance to play grade cricket, be­cause it re­minded them why they love the game.

“What hap­pened was very dis­ap­point­ing. We put our hands up and we are ashamed of what hap­pened, but we’re here to try and keep pro­mot­ing cricket,” he said. “It just puts it in per­spec­tive. We’ve been liv­ing in a bub­ble for a long time and it’s great just to come back and en­joy cricket and re­mind your­self that’s it’s a fun game.” IN­TER­NA­TIONAL CRICKET? SHEFFIELD SHIELD? BIG BASH LEAGUE?

David Warner cops a short one at Coogee Oval yes­ter­day. Op­po­site page, clock­wise from left: Warner’s au­to­graph is in de­mand; Steve Smith rues his dis­missal; Warner greets for­mer team­mate Shane Wat­son; and shakes hands with for­mer Aus­tralian cap­tain Steve Waugh. Pic­tures: GETTY IM­AGES, JENNY EVANS

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