‘More people were involved, he was completely villianized’ - David Warner’s manager makes stunning ball-tampering claims
David Warner’s manager James Erskine has hit out at Cricket Australia for their handling of the leadership ban on the opener, in relation to the ball-tampering episode of the Cape Town Test 2018. Erskine’s comments came after Warner withdrew his appeal to overturn his lifetime leadership ban, priortitising his and the family’s mental well-being, while accusing the review panel of trying to create a “public lynching”.
Warner was understood to have ideated the ball-tampering, provoking fellow-opener Cameron Bancroft to use sandpaper to alter its conditions. Warner and Steve Smith were handed a year-long ban, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
Erskine, however, revealed that more than three players were involved, and that Warner, who was “completely villainized”, protected his fellow players.
"You’d have to be a blind black Labrador, there was far more than three people involved in this thing, they all got a canning and David Warner was completely villainized,” Erskine told SEN 1170 Afternoons. “He has shut up, he protected Cricket Australia, he protected his fellow players on my advice, because at the end of the day no one wanted to hear any more of it and he’s got on playing cricket."
Erskine further added that the idea had first stemmed following Australia’s innings defeat to South Africa in Hobart in 2016.
"The truth will come out, let me tell you,” he said. “Two senior executives were in the changing room in Hobart and basically were berating the team for losing against South Africa and Warner said we’ve got to reverse-swing the ball. The only way we can reverse-swing the ball is by tampering with it And they were told to do it."
Erskine maintained his stance against ball-tampering, but added that the series of events was “blown out of proportions”, citing Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s comments then, and the reaction of the general public.
"I’m completely against it, I think tampering with balls is a joke, but it has gone on for centuries. Everybody has been fiddling around with balls and the penalty at the time by the ICC was a one-match ban. This was blown out of all proportion, partly because of the Prime Minister, but partly for the total reaction of the general public."