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Warner on leadership ban saga: 'From the CA point of view, I didn't really have any support'

Speaking ahead of his 100th Test, Warner said that the issue affected his mental health ahead of the first test of the Australian summer

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
24-Dec-2022
David Warner fell cheaply for a second time in the match, Australia vs South Africa, 1st Test, Brisbane, 2nd Day, December 18, 2022

'Leading into the Perth Test, my mental health probably wasn't where I needed it to be at to be 100 percent.'  •  Associated Press

Ahead of his 100th Test, David Warner has taken another swipe at Cricket Australia for their handling of his leadership ban appeal and detailed how the process affected him.
Warner said the drawn out saga, which began in February, left him struggling mentally ahead of the opening Test of the summer against West Indies in Perth and it came to an abrupt end on the eve of the Adelaide encounter.
Both Warner and CA had wanted the hearing behind closed doors, but the independent commissioners - put in place by the board's own rewriting of its code of conduct - insisted on it being open. Warner issued a strong statement saying he would not put his family or team-mates through a retelling of the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering controversy and withdrew from the appeal.
"We reached out in February. So we have no idea how it went on this far and only CA can answer that and they'll probably give you the same thing that they always give everyone else, they don't really give an answer," Warner said at the MCG on Saturday.
"Leading into the Perth Test, my mental health probably wasn't where I needed it to be at to be 100 percent. And that was challenging at the time. If I had it my way we would have had it all sorted. From the CA point of view, I didn't really have any support. My team-mates and the staff in our team were absolutely amazing, and my family and friends - they really got me through that period."
Though Warner admitted he was struggling ahead of the West Indies he never considered stepping aside while the off-field issues were unravelling.
"I've never had that in me to quit or to back down," he said. "I feel like I can get through anything. At the time I was focused on scoring runs and [doing] the best job I could for the team. I'd still do the same thing again because that's what I'm about, I'm about going out there and doing the best I can for the team. It is what it is now - I've moved on and I'm in a great positive mindset now."
Warner added that he and CA would probably talk again after the South Africa series has finished. He has a small window where he will play in the BBL for Sydney Thunder, which came about through a mega-money deal from CA to boost the competition, and it was the possibility of a leadership role in that team that had initially led the push to have the ban overturned.
"I'll have that conversation once that series is done," he said. "For me it's about staying in the right frame of mind to take on the South Africans. I'm pumped to play another Boxing Day test and more importantly we've got a series that's on the line."
Speaking the day before, CA chair Lachlan Henderson did not want to go back over how the situation played out.
"The process has been well publicised, and I won't go through that again," Henderson said. "But it's just a terrific time this Test match that we're celebrating Dave Warner's 100th Test. We should be focusing on his achievements on the field."
However, Warner stressed that any ill-feeling between him and CA does not extend more broadly with the team. "I don't think so at all," he said.
Warner also reiterated his hunger to continue playing Test cricket beyond this summer with his form over the last two years, where he hasn't scored a century and has averaged 26.07, in the spotlight. He made 102 runs in four innings against West Indies then scores of 0 and 3 against South Africa at the Gabba. Next year there are tours to India and England were Warner's record is underwhelming but he insisted his ambition remains undimmed.
"It was my childhood dream," he said. "I'm not out here to not play. I love it. I wake up every day, I get out of bed knowing I've got a game the next day with the same smile on my face the same energy and enthusiasm. You ask any of the players in the changerooms who is the loudest, it's me. I love it. That's what I live for.
"My back is up against the wall but it's in my DNA to keep being competitive and come out here and put a smile on my face and take on whatever opposition I'm going to face. I'm here today about to play my 100th Test match - I couldn't be prouder of me, my family for getting me here and my closest friends."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo