David Warner’s manager has sensationally claimed players were allowed to tamper with the ball by anonymous officials around 16 months before the Cape Town scandal in 2018.
The drama surrounding Warner’s leadership ban continued on Thursday after Warner revoked its offer to have its sanction lifted due to frustration with the public nature of the process.
The fly-half batsman returned to the field on Thursday, batting aggressively to score 21-of-29 against West Indies.
Warner cut, drove and covered Alzarri Joseph for three limits in one before being caught by West Indies quickly in the first session of the match.
Off the pitch, Warner manager James Erskine suggested in an interview on SEN that the players had been given permission to tamper with the ball after a 2016 flogging from South Africa in Hobart.
South African cricketer Faf du Plessis was later accused of applying saliva to the ball with a mint in his mouth as Australia were knocked out for 85 in the first innings.
“Two senior executives were in the dressing room in Hobart basically berating the team for their loss to South Africa,” Erskine said on SEN.
“Warner said we had to reverse the swing of the ball. And the only way to knock the ball over is to handle it. And so they were told to do it.
Erskine also claimed that one day the truth would come out about the Cape Town ball tampering saga, and people would believe that Warner had been unfairly harassed.
“There were way more than three people involved in this case, they all got a caning and David Warner was completely naughty,” Erskine said.
“He was silent, he protected Australia Crickethe protected his teammates on my advice, because in the end no one wanted to hear about it anymore and he started playing cricket.
“This is injustice at its highest level.”
Cricket Australia has yet to comment on the latest allegations.
Erskine’s comments came as questions continued to be raised about how CA had lost control of its own code of conduct.
Warner had been pushing since February to have his directing ban reviewed, before the governing body initiated a change to its code of conduct two months ago.
That change was finalized last month, allowing Warner to file a request to have his lifetime ban reviewed based on his personal growth since then and his contrition.
CA confirmed that it supported Warner’s request that the independent panel hold the hearing behind closed doors.
But they and Warner were told on Wednesday that would not be the case – with the panel of three independent code of conduct commissioners able to set their own parameters.
“We are disappointed with this outcome as our intention was to give David the opportunity to demonstrate why his lifetime ban from directing should be changed at an independent hearing and we have amended our code of conduct accordingly,” said a CA spokesperson.
“We supported David’s wish that these discussions be heard behind closed doors and respect his decision to withdraw his candidacy.”
In a lengthy Instagram statement on Wednesday, Warner claimed the panel did not consider the well-being of his family or teammates, with the opening suggesting the hearing would be akin to a public lynching.
He also suggested that the attorney assisting the panel, who Warner said has since been removed, made “offensive and unnecessary comments” about him.
Warner’s wife, Candice, also denounced the process on Thursday.
“The fact that my daughters have to deal with abuse because of incidents that happened in the past is not fair,” she told Triple M radio.
“It’s still raw, we go to cricket so often watching David play and there are always people shouting things to the crowd. Our family has already suffered and endured so much suffering. Why do it now? will this accomplish?”