David Warner withdraws captaincy ban appeal following ‘offensive’ panel comments

David Warner has announced he will withdraw an application to have his Cricket Australia leadership ban overturned, accusing the independent panel conducting the review of wanting to put him through a “public lynching”. 

In social media posts published on Thursday evening, Warner also alleged that the independent counsel assisting the review panel made “offensive” comments during the proceedings.

The 36-year-old then went on to declare he would no longer appeal his leadership ban because he does not want to put his family through more intense media scrutiny.

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The Australian batter was hit with a lifetime leadership ban for his role in the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

In November this year, Cricket Australia made alterations to its code of conduct, which permitted Warner to appeal his ban.

As part of his recent statement – which was made on the eve of the Adelaide Test – Warner revealed he had applied to have his leadership ban lifted one fortnight ago.

However, he has since withdrawn his appeal, citing his frustrations over how the hearings would be made public.

“Despite my opposition and that of Cricket Australia, on Tuesday last week Counsel Assisting the review panel and the review panel took it upon themselves to concoct an irregular procedure (overturning presumptions and previous practice) for the determination of my application and establish a novel approach that would negatively impact the health and welfare of my family and the interests of the Australian cricket team,” Warner wrote.

“In his submissions, Counsel Assisting made offensive and unhelpful comments about me that had absolutely no substantive purpose under the code of conduct.

“In effect, Counsel Assisting, and, it appears, to some extent the Review Panel, want to conduct a public trial of me and what occurred during the Third Test at Newlands.

“They want to conduct a public spectacle to, in the Panel’s words, have a “cleansing”. I am not prepared for my family to be the washing machine for cricket’s dirty laundry.

“Counsel Assisting the Review Panel appeared to be determined to revisit the events of March 2018 and the Review Panel appears determined to expose me and my family to further humiliation and harm by conducting a media circus.”

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Warner also highlighted the impact that the last four years of scrutiny have had on him and his family, as well as mentioning his own rehabilitation efforts.

“Since that Test and even though my ban from leadership roles may never be lifted, I have taken it upon myself to reform, to rehabilitate and to transform my approach to the game,” he wrote.

“I have served and been subject to a crushing, unprecedented, penalty that has horribly impacted me and my family for the past nearly five years.”

The former Test vice-captain then went on to accuse the panel of wanting to administer a ‘public lynching’, re-affirming his position regarding the wellbeing of his family.

“It appears the panel has given no more than passing consideration to issues of player welfare and the interests of Australian cricket and is instead determined to conduct a public lynching,” he added.

“Regrettably, I have no practical alternative at this point in time but to withdraw my application. I am not prepared to subject my family or my teammates to further trauma and disruption by accepting a departure from the way in which my application should be dealt with pursuant to the Code of Conduct.

“Some things are more important than cricket.”

Warner’s wife – former Ironwoman and surf life saver Candice Warner – has also spoken following the statement.

“It is an intense statement because it’s been incredibly intense … not just (the past) 12 months, but since March 2018,” Warner said on Triple M’s Summer Breakfast show

“We live it day to day. That pain doesn’t go away. It’s still raw.

“We go to the cricket so often watching David play and there’s always people yelling things out.”

Warner was audibly emotional in her response, choking up when mentioning the impacts the scrutiny has had on her children.

“The fact that my daughters have to cop abuse because of incidents that have happened in the past is just not fair,” she added.

“My husband David always puts family first. He’s fiercely protective of myself and the three girls. 

“Cricket is not everything. Cricket is what he does but it does not define him and the person that he is.”

Whilst David Warner did not share in his statement whether he would retire from cricket, the 36-year-old did drop a major hint regarding his future in November.

A fixture of the Australian lineup for over a decade, Warner has scored over 7800 runs and 24 centuries for his country.

However, in an interview with Triple M following Australia’s T20 World Cup exit, the batter admitted his time in the Test team will potentially come to the end in the next 12 months, likely following the 2023 Ashes series in England. 

“Test cricket will probably be the first one to fall off…because that’s how it will pan out,” he said.

“The T20 World Cup is in 2024, [ODI] World Cup next year. Potentially it could be my last 12 months in Test cricket.

“But I love the white-ball game, it’s amazing…T20 cricket – I love the game. I will be looking to get to 2024.

“For all those people saying I am past it and a lot of those old people are past it, look out. Be careful what you wish for.”

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