David Warner is within touching distance of having his lifetime leadership ban lifted after a change in Cricket Australia’s (CA) code of conduct opened the door for the former vice-captain to make his case.
- Cricket Australia confirms it has changed its code of conduct
- Sanctioned players will now be able to make a case for long-term penalties to be eased
- David Warner is serving a leadership ban stemming from the 2018 ball-tampering scandal
Changes to CA’s code were approved by board members on Monday, opening the door for Warner to front a three-person panel and push for leadership freedom after months of speculation.
Under previous rules, players and officials were unable to have sanctions reviewed, appealed or lifted after initial penalties were handed down, no matter how many years earlier.
However, any sanctioned player will now be able to make a case for long-term penalties to be eased if they can prove they have shown remorse and their behaviour has changed.
Warner has spent recent months advocating for the chance to hold a leadership position again, with his ban the last lingering punishment stemming from the 2018 Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
“Any applications will be considered by a three-person review panel, comprising independent code of conduct commissioners,” CA said in a statement.
“[They] must be satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to justify modifying a sanction.”
Monday’s move comes some nine months after the Australian Cricketers’ Association first wrote to CA officials, urging Warner’s ban to be reconsidered.
CA stressed that any application would not be a review of the initial ban, but rather of the player’s behaviour since and justification for lifting sanctions.
“These circumstances and considerations will include whether the subject of the sanction has demonstrated genuine remorse,” CA’s statement read.
“The subject’s conduct and behaviour since the imposition of the sanction.
“Whether rehabilitation programs have been completed undertaken (if applicable) and the length of time that has passed since the sanction was imposed.
“And whether sufficient time has passed to allow for reform or rehabilitation.”
Any change in Warner’s circumstances could allow him to enter the frame for Australia’s one-day captaincy in any match full-time skipper Pat Cummins sits out.
Josh Hazlewood became Australia’s 28th ODI captain on Saturday when Cummins was rested, with the role set to be shared around a wider leadership group in any match Cummins does not play.
The leadership of Australia’s Twenty20 team is also likely to be up for grabs in the next six months, as Aaron Finch weighs up his future and with Warner keen to play at the 2024 World Cup.
Beyond the international level, Warner has indicated his desire to lead in the Big Bash League after signing a two-year deal with the Sydney Thunder earlier this year.
Warner’s push to have his ban lifted has the support of several teammates, including current Test and white-ball skippers Cummins and Finch.