Banned Australian opener David Warner is likely to remain silent in the short-term, despite fellow suspended teammates sensationally breaking their silence over the infamous ball tampering saga in recent days.
Australian Cricketers’ Association boss Alastair Nicholson confirmed on Friday morning that he’d made contact with Warner after interviews with Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith were both aired on Fox Cricket on Boxing Day.
In Bancroft’s interview with Adam Gilchrist, he confirmed Warner was the mastermind behind Australia’s attempt to tamper with the ball against South Africa in Cape Town earlier this year. The act saw Bancroft banned for the rest of 2018, while Smith and Warner both copped 12-month sanctions.
Some in the cricket world anticipate Warner will also soon break his silence as a result of his teammates’ public stance.
But Nicholson said Warner doesn’t believe he’s been left isolated by Bancroft and Smith, adding that the explosive left-handed batsman is likely to keep a low profile.
“I don’t necessarily think it left him isolated, because there wasn’t essentially anything really new there and there’s still a significant amount of time to go for those guys to in their rebuild into the Australian team,” Nicholson told SEN Test Cricket.
“I had a quick check-in with him and he says he’s OK and he’s just being low-key, so that’s not the impression I’m getting. But I haven’t had an extended conversation with him.”
Nicholson said the players’ union had already held discussions with Cricket Australia about the prospect of reintegrating the three players back into the national team.
But he doesn’t believe it will be more difficult for Warner to re-join the Australian set-up – compared to Smith and Bancroft – despite suggestions that Bancroft, according to former opener Michael Slater, “buried” Warner in his interview.
“International cricket is hard enough getting back and staying in the team, so people shouldn’t forget that,” Nicholson said.
“I don’t necessarily think (it’ll be tougher for Warner). They’re serving their bans and they’ve all served them well. I think that’s what’s holding some weight with the team and hopefully then the Australian public feel through that as well.”
Nicholson said the timing of Bancroft’s interview should also be viewed as “not unexpected”, as the Western Australian is about to re-enter the domestic cricket scene via the Big Bash League.
“He’s had a hard time and really learnt a lot about himself over that period, so there was an element of him wanting to share that with people pre jumping back in to playing,” Nicholson said.
“The timing was surprising in some respects, but nonetheless he’s a fantastic young man.”
Nicholson said he expected all three players to receive warm welcomes when they return to the Australian squad.
“As long as all parties are aligned and there’s clarity and consistency around what the process is to come back in, then I think that’s what our focus is from our point of view is. More specifically, the players are up for that as well,” he said.