David Warner looks forward to avoiding ‘flak’ over sandpaper scandal

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Australia batter David Warner says he is the only player who has taken “a lot of flak” since the sandpaper ball-tampering scandal.

Warner and then-captain Steve Smith were banned for a year after being found guilty of ball-tampering during a 2018 Test match against South Africa.

Opening batter Cameron Bancroft, who carried out the act, was also suspended for nine months.

Warner admitted he was looking forward to no longer being reminded of the events in Cape Town when he retires from international cricket at the end of the ongoing T20 World Cup.

“One can only absorb so much,” Warner, 37, told Cricket Australia. “Coming back since 2018 I’ve probably been the only one that’s ever copped a lot of flak.

“I’ve always been that person who has copped it. It’s great to go out knowing I’m not going to cop it any more.”

Warner was found to have orchestrated the ball-tampering plan, while Smith was aware but did not do anything to stop it.

Warner was the only player given a lifelong ban from leadership positions with Australia, but has remained a key member of the side that is hoping to add the T20 world title to their 50-over and World Test Championship crowns.

He acknowledges he will always be associated with the scandal but hopes he can also be remembered for his explosive batting.

“If they’re real cricket tragics and they love cricket, they will always see me as that cricketer – someone who tried to change the game,” he said.

“Someone who tried to follow in the footsteps of the openers before me, and try and score runs at a great tempo and change Test cricket.”

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