Warner plea to halt talk on bans

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - JU­LIAN LIN­DEN

DAVID Warner has pleaded for ev­ery­one to stop squab­bling over whether he, Steve Smith and Cameron Ban­croft should have their sus­pen­sions 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 bans 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 in Syd­ney.

“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.”

Smith came out on top in yes­ter­day’s heavy­weight clash with Warner af­ter the two ban­ished bats­men com­bined for a one-two knock­out win in the pub­lic­ity war to be re­in­stated to the na­tional team.

While Cricket Aus­tralia lurches from one dis­as­ter to the next, the coun­try’s two pre­mier bats­men put the game back in the spot­light af­ter fea­tur­ing in one of the big­gest matches played in the Syd­ney grade com­pe­ti­tion.

Smith tri­umphed in their head-to-head bat­ting duel when he made a pa­tient 48 for Suther­land af­ter the ex­plo­sive Warner fell cheaply with just 13 runs to his name.

Suther­land also won the lim­ited-overs first grade match by three wick­ets with two balls to spare af­ter over­haul­ing Rand­wick Peter­sham’s to­tal of 8/267.

Bat­ting at three, Smith hit just two bound­aries be­fore he lost his wicket just when he looked set for a big­ger score.

Warner also spanked just two bound­aries off the 16 balls he faced be­fore he cut a wide ball from Steve Waugh’s son Austin straight to Dan Fallins at back­ward point, who held a sharp catch.

Both men trudged back to the pav­il­ion, shak­ing their heads al­most apolo­get­i­cally, be­fore spend­ing time sign­ing au­to­graphs and min­gling with the crowd.

Smith bowled 10 overs and picked up the key wicket of English im­port Daniel Bel­lDrum­mond, who made a stylish 106 from 130 de­liv­er­ies in his first match since ar­riv­ing in Aus­tralia for the sum­mer.

GRASS­ROOTS CLASH: Steve Smith on the at­tack for Suther­land against David Warner's Rand­wick­Peter­sham, the first time the banned stars have come face-to-face on the field. Above left, Warner chats with Steve Waugh and, right, Smith with his dog Char­lie. Pic­tures: JENNY EVANS

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