David Warner slammed over ‘set-up’
BANNED opener David Warner and Channel 9 have been slammed by Aussie cricket fans over his return to TV on Saturday night.
The mastermind of the ball-tampering plot that wreaked havoc on Australian cricket made his commentary debut for Channel 9 at the introduction of the telecast before Aussie captain Tim Paine and English captain Eoin Morgan met for the toss of the coin for the second ODI of the series in England.
While Australia has been screaming out for Warner to open up about the plot to alter the ball with sandpaper during Australia's disastrous tour of South Africa, Warner and Nine sidestepped questions about his decision to lead Cameron Bancroft into trying to rough up the ball with sandpaper to create reverse swing.
Aussie test legend Michael Slater has also come under fire for asking Warner only about the fallout to the saga - and not about if Warner went "rogue" as first reported.
The saga ended with Warner being hit with a 12-month ban alongside banned captain Steve Smith (12 months) and Bancroft (nine months).
The fact that Warner was treated lightly by the Nine panel did not sit well with viewers - who posted on Twitter that Australian fans deserved a better explanation than the one Warner offered up.
Warner did reveal he has spoken to Aussie teammates and says he has been told by them that they are comfortable with him returning to the Aussie test team when his suspension has been served.
"I would like to think that I've got the trust and confidence in the team," Warner said.
"I've asked that question to them and they've all said 'yes' they'd love to have us back.
"First and foremost it's earning the respect and trust back from the public and Cricket Australia.
"(It's) making sure we're putting our hands up in all these leagues and tournaments and grade cricket (so) we're playing good enough cricket and warrant that call-up.
"We're really pumped to be allowed to actually be allowed to go over and play in that tournament (in Canada).
"It is our road back. I've been back at NSW training … getting the muscles going again and strengthening them up to be able to go back to play cricket."
He said he finds it difficult to be in public any more after the anger that he experienced from pundits after the scandal broke.
"Every time I walk out of the house I do feel like there are eyes watching me," Warner said on Channel 9.
"But you can't keep thinking about that, you've got to get on with life and move forward.
"It was my fault and I accepted that and now it's about moving on and dealing with it in my own way and as a family.
"It really hurts me not just (missing) cricket, but seeing the guys cop a lot of flak over what's happened. I feel I should be the one copping that brunt over there with them."
Fans vented their frustration at Nine's refusal to put Warner under pressure or demand real answers for what really happened in the Second Test dressing room.
Meanwhile, Warner will play for the St Lucia Stars in the Caribbean Premier League as he continues his attempt to rebuild his reputation after the ball-tampering scandal.
The 31-year-old was handed a one-year ban from international and state cricket by Cricket Australia for his role in helping to devise a plan to rub sandpaper on the ball during a Test match against South Africa in March.
Warner has already agreed deals to play in lower-level Australian grade cricket and at a tournament in Canada in July.
The CPL announced on Saturday that the swashbuckling opener would replace his compatriot D'Arcy Short in the St Lucia side for their T20 event which runs from August 8 until September 16.
"We are excited to bring David to the Saint Lucia Stars," said Stars general manager Mohammad Khan.
"David is arguably one of the greatest batsmen of the modern era and a winning player. He is going to add a lot of value on the field and in the dressing room as we pursue our first CPL title." Warner struck 109 against South Africa in a one-day international in Saint Kitts the last time he played in the Caribbean two years ago.
- with AFP