Warner’s manager said it wasn’t just David Warner, Steve Smith, and Cameron Bancroft involved in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal. As a result of ‘Sandpaper-gate’ in March 2018, opener Warner “protected” his teammates on his advice, according to Australian radio.
Warner was banned from elite cricket and from leadership positions for life for playing the leading role in the scandal. In addition to a year ban, Smith is banned from leadership positions for three years, while Bancroft gets a year ban from leadership positions plus a nine-month suspension from playing.
According to Erskine, there’s more to the story.
It’ll all come out in the end, he said.
“There are a lot of people…” During that time, two cricketers said, “Why don’t we just put our hands up and tell the truth, they can’t fire everyone.”
I guess that’s what happened.
David Warner was completely villainized because they all got canings.”
Warner was told to keep quiet by Erskine so everyone could move on.
On my advice (Warner) has shut up; he’s protected Cricket Australia, and he’s protected his fellow players because at the end of the day, no one wanted to hear any more about it, so he’s got on with playing cricket,” he said.
No comment from Cricket Australia (CA).
There were fresh allegations about Newlands during the second test against West Indies at Adelaide Oval on Thursday, where Smith captained the team in place of regular skipper Pat Cummins. A panel set up by CA was supposed to quashed Warner’s leadership ban, but he backed out on Wednesday, saying he didn’t want to “further trauma and disruption” for his family and teammates if he was subjected to a public trial at Newlands.
It’s unclear if other players and staff were involved or had knowledge of the ball-tampering after CA found Warner, Smith and Bancroft culpable following a rapid investigation in South Africa in 2018.
Smith told the media at Newlands it was a decision by the team’s “leadership group” before saying he wasn’t involved in the planning and his failure was to stop it. Warner has stayed mum on the affair.
Last year, Bancroft, caught with sandpaper on TV while fielding at Newlands, told The Guardian that the Australian bowlers needed to know about ball-tampering. After seeing the images on the big screen at the stadium, the bowlers found out a “foreign substance” had been taken onto the field. South Africa plays Australia next week in the first of three tests.