Australia’s Warner says ball-tampering scandal will never go away

David Warner in action for Australia. File photo

David Warner says he will forever be tarnished by the “Sandpaper-gate” scandal of 2018, as the Australian opener ponders his legacy ahead of impending international retirement.

The divisive 37-year-old is looking to go out on a high with victory at the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and United States, where Australia are into the Super Eight stage.

Australia’s leading run-scorer in T20 cricket has said that the World Cup will be the final act of his international playing career.

Speaking to reporters in Antigua, Warner acknowledged that the notorious ball-tampering scandal in South Africa six years ago will always be mentioned alongside his exploits with the bat.

“I think it’s going to be inevitable that when people talk about me in 20 or 30 years’ time, there will always be that sandpaper scandal,” said Warner, according to Cricket Australia.

Along with then-skipper Steve Smith, Warner was banned for a year for his part in the third Test debacle in Cape Town that saw Cameron Bancroft use sandpaper to scuff the ball before a crude attempt to conceal the evidence down his trousers.

Warner was the chief plotter and Cricket Australia stripped him of the vice-captaincy.

With his time at the top now coming to a close, Warner said he felt he had been unfairly singled out over the affair.

“Whether it’s people who don’t like the Australian cricket team or don’t like me, I’ve always been that person who has copped it,” said Warner.

“It’s fine if they want to do that, but I always feel like I’ve taken a lot of pressure off a lot of guys as well and I think understandably I’ve been that person to be able to absorb that.”

For that reason, the batsman said he was looking forward to international retirement.

“One can only absorb (so much),” he said.

“For me, it’s great to go out knowing I’m not going to cop it anymore.” – AFP

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