David Warner is set to have his leadership ban lifted, with Cricket Australia announcing changes to their code of conduct.
The 36-year-old was banned from ever holding a captaincy or vice-captaincy position with the national side again, following a well-publicised ball-tampering incident in South Africa back in 2018.
Steve Smith returned to the Test vice-captaincy last summer, but there were still question marks over Warner’s future and whether or not CA would backflip on their hard-line stance.
Following the retirement of Aaron Finch from 50-over cricket and his impending exit from T20s, Australia are now on the lookout for a new long-term captain in the white-ball formats.
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And on Monday morning, CA released a statement confirming that players or officials within the organisation would now be able to apply to have long-term sanctions overturned.
“Cricket Australia (CA) has amended its code of conduct for players and player support personnel after a review by the CA head of integrity,” the statement said.
“The CA board requested a code of conduct review at its October board meeting. The recommendations from this review have been accepted and given formal approval.
“Under the changes, players and support staff can now apply to have long-term sanctions modified.
“Any applications will be considered by a three-person review panel, comprising independent code of conduct commissioners, which must be satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to justify modifying a sanction.
“These circumstances and considerations will include whether the subject of the sanction has demonstrated genuine remorse; the subject’s conduct and behaviour since the imposition of the sanction; whether rehabilitation programs have been completed undertaken (if applicable) and the length of time that has passed since the sanction was imposed and whether sufficient time has passed to allow for reform or rehabilitation.
“The code of conduct states this process: acknowledges that players and player support personnel are capable of genuine reform or rehabilitation and is intended to provide the player or player support personnel with an opportunity to resume their previously held positions or responsibilities in specific circumstances.
“The hearing of an application is not an appeal, or a review of the original sanction imposed.”
Warner would join a growing list of candidates for the white-ball captaincy including Smith, Pat Cummins, Alex Carey, Travis Head and Glenn Maxwell.
Speaking to the media on Monday, the big-hitting opener admitted the way the process has dragged on has been ‘traumatising’ for him and his family.
“It’s been disappointing it’s taken this long to get to where it has,” Warner said.
“It’s all about me now, it looks like I’m campaigning when it’s totally not that. It’s frustrating because we could have done this 9 months ago.
“It was brought up in I think February this year, so it’s been drawn out. It’s traumatic for me and my family and everyone else that was involved in it. We haven’t needed to go back into that detail, we don’t need to relive what happened.
“I think it’s just about being fair that at the end of the day, I’m not a criminal. You should get a right of appeal at some stage.
“I understand that they put a ban in place, but banning someone for life I think is a bit harsh. I’ve done my time to get back into the Australian cricket setup.
“It‘s a tad disappointing that when you make a decision in 2018, it’s in four days, and then this takes nine months.
“Hopefully a decision can be made and we can just move forward.”
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News Corp are reporting that Warner will go through with an appeal to have his ban overturned and a decision could be made this week.
The left-hander was previously vice-captain of the Test and ODI sides, as well as having brief runs with the captaincy in both of the white-ball formats.