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‘Banning for life from leadership is just fundamentally wrong’




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Australia stand-in skipper Steve Smith has opined that teammate David Warner’s leadership ban is ‘fundamentally wrong’. Warner, who was the captain of the side during the sandpapergate-scandal in 2018 against South Africa, was immediately handed a ban from leadership duties by Cricket Australia.

Warner, Smith, and Cameron Bancroft were all penalised to varying degrees for their involvement in the infamous scandal. However, Smith returned to take over the leadership role after an injury picked up by Pat Cummins and guided the side to win against the West Indies in the second Test match. The stand-in skipper was displeased with the treatment of Warner and claimed that the ban was incorrect by the apex board.

“From my point of view, banning for life from leadership is just fundamentally wrong. David served his time like I did. For us, we know he’s a leader around the group, and on and off the field he’s doing a tremendous job,” said Smith as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.

Earlier in December, Warner withdrew his application to have the ban reviewed as he believed that the panel would turn it into a ‘public lynching’.

It’s been a difficult week for Warner: Steve Smith

The Australia opener has been unable to hit the ground running in the series against the West Indies and much of it was also to do with the stressful week endured by Warner. However, Smith opined that the flamboyant batter will return to top form ahead of the series against South Africa.

“It’s been a difficult one for him, it’s been a difficult week. It has been more of a distraction for Davey, no doubt, going through that himself. David has said he’s done and dusted and get on with it. He’s got our full support. Hopefully, he can have a really big series for us against South Africa with the bat,” added Smith.

The Aussies play the Proteas in a three-match Test series scheduled to commence on December 17, and will be a part of the ICC World Test Championships.