'There'll always be sandpaper scandal' - David Warner on forgettable phase of career

David  Warner reflects on how Sandpaper Gate will continue to be scar on his cricketing career.
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Australia's star cricketer David Warner feels that the 'Sandpaper Gate' scandal will forever tarnish his cricket legacy for years to come. Notably, the opening batter is set to retire from the T20Is after the ongoing T20 World Cup in 2024. He has already announced his retirement from test cricket and ODI cricket earlier this year. Warner admitted that the Sandpaper Gate controversy from 2018 will remain a scar on his stellar cricket career as he nears retirement. The southpaw, who played in three World Cup wins for Australia over the course of a 15-year international career, will be calling it quits.

The left-handed batter ended his career as an ODI and Test cricketer in January 2024, following the conclusion of the ODI World Cup 2023, where his side, led by Pat Cummins, thrashed a strong Team India in the final game to lift the sixth title. He was stripped of his vice captain position and handed a one-year ban following the infamous Sandpaper Gate incident, which marred his magnificent career. 

Meanwhile, the 37-year-old cricketer returned to the national team with excellent performances after a year-long suspension. Warner acknowledged that, despite what the outside world might have thought, his much-anticipated comeback was not very pleasing for him.

"Coming back since 2018 I've probably ... been the only one that's ever copped a lot of flak. 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," Warner told News Corp and cricket.com.au in Antigua.

There will always be that sandpaper scandal: David Warner

The southpaw is only 67 runs short of surpassing 19,000 runs and is the second-highest scorer of all time behind former Aussie skipper and 2003 World Cup-winning skipper Ricky Ponting. The 37-year-old believes that, when people look back on his career, the Sandpaper controversy from Australia's third Test match against South Africa in 2018 will always be linked with his batting records and accomplishments.

"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. But for me, if they're real cricket tragics and they love cricket, (as well as) my closest supporters, they will always see me as that cricketer - someone who tried to change the game," he added further.

Meanwhile, Australia has have placed themselves in the Super 8's of the 2024 T20 World Cup. The Mitchell Marsh-led side is unbeaten in the marquee event, as they registered great wins over Oman, England, Namibia, and Scotland to qualify for the next round. The side is set to face Bangladesh in their opening game of the next phase, set to take place on June 21 in Antigua.

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