Tim Paine rejects claims David Warner has been ostracised after ball-tampering scandal
Australia’s new cricket captain Tim Paine has rejected claims former vice-captain David Warner has been ostracised by the playing group in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.
Warner is currently serving a one-year suspension for his role in the cheating incident, along with then-captain Steve Smith, while junior player Cameron Bancroft has been sidelined for nine months.
It has been widely reported that Warner was shunned by his teammates in the wake of the scandal, but incoming Test and One Day International captain Tim Paine said that was not true.
“No he wasn’t [ostracised by the group]actually,” Paine said.
“Certainly the week in South Africa was very difficult and everyone said that, but guys in that team get along well and David is a respected member of that team and always has been.
“For as long as I’ve been around the team he’s been really well liked and really well received by his teammates.”
Paine said claims some members of the team do not want to play with the former opener were “off the mark” and “unfair” on Warner.
He said while Warner’s competitiveness might sometimes “rub the opposition up the wrong way” it was well received within the Australian team.
“Within our team he’s someone with that energy and that competitiveness who we love playing with,” he said.
“There’s a side of David that people don’t know which is a really loyal, really caring and a good team man to have around.”
Paine rejected claims there was disharmony among the playing group, but said members of the national team generally did not stay in close contact when they returned home because they lived in different parts of the country.
Suspended players will be ‘welcomed back’
The new captain said he had been in contact with Warner, Smith and Bancroft.
“All three are certainly going to be welcomed back into our team, if they’re prepared to toe the line with our new brand of cricket, which I know they will,” Paine said.
“I know they’ll all do the right thing and score enough runs to be back in our side and they’ll be certainly be welcomed back.”
Paine said he would be sitting down with new coach Justin Langer to discuss a “new brand” of cricket for the national team.
“Justin and I are certainly on the same page with the way we want it to look,” he said.
“There’s just going to be a fine line between being still a really competitive, hard, Australian cricket team and being able to be a bit more respectful of our opposition and the game.
“I think at times we’ve got a little bit carried away in trying to intimidate teams and we’ve just got to focus on our skill.”
Paine expects England to be ‘basking in’ the scandal
Paine has been named interim captain of the One Day International team for its upcoming tour of England, in addition to his position leading the Test side.
He said the team would be preparing for some backlash to the ball-tampering scandal during the tour.
“It’s something certainly we’ll have to touch on because I think it’s certainly going to be raised,” he said.
“I think the English are going to be sort of basking in the glory of what’s happened.
“It’s going to be different, but playing in England the crowds and the media are always coming at us with something, but it’s just going to be the level of it and the seriousness of what’s happened.”
He said he hoped if the team played well the focus would shift back to cricket.