Cricket

Candice Warner breaks down over impact of Test cricket cheating scandal on David Warner and kids

Candice Warner has broken down crying on live radio as she addressed the impact the ball-tampering scandal and subsequent leadership life ban involving husband David has had on their family. 

The 36-year-old veteran opening batter announced on Wednesday night that he was withdrawing his push to have his lifetime captaincy ban lifted, citing the fact he thought he would be subjected to a ‘public lynching’ as part of Cricket Australia’s review of his leadership status. 

Warner was the ringleader of a ball-tampering plot with sandpaper in a 2018 Test against South Africa that rocked Australian cricket to its very core

The then-vice captain was banned from ever having a leadership role ever again for his part in the scandal.

David Warner, in town for the start of the second Test today, greeted wife Candice and their three daughters Ivy Mae, Indi Rae, and Isla Rose at the Adelaide Airport on Wednesday

David Warner, in town for the start of the second Test today, greeted wife Candice and their three daughters Ivy Mae, Indi Rae, and Isla Rose at the Adelaide Airport on Wednesday

Candice Warner (left) was overcome with emotion when she talked about the impact the ball-tampering scandal involving husband David (right) has had on their young family

Candice Warner (left) was overcome with emotion when she talked about the impact the ball-tampering scandal involving husband David (right) has had on their young family

He, Candice and their three children Ivy Mae, Indi Rae and Isla Rose have all been affected by the wave of scrutiny the star opening batter has been hit with since the controversy.

That has only been magnified and exacerbated since Warner announced he was keen to have the captaincy ban overturned, because he is ‘not a criminal’ and felt the penalty was grossly unfair. 

Candice Warner broke down crying on her Triple M Summer Breakfast Show on Wednesday morning as she discussed what she and her family had been throwing since husband David's role, and subsequent life leadership ban, over the ball-tampering saga

Candice Warner broke down crying on her Triple M Summer Breakfast Show on Wednesday morning as she discussed what she and her family had been throwing since husband David’s role, and subsequent life leadership ban, over the ball-tampering saga

After Warner released a lengthy statement slamming his treatment on Wednesday, Candice broke down crying on Thursday morning. 

‘It is an intense statement because it has been not only an incredibly intense 12 months, but since march 2018. We live it day to day, that pain doesn’t go away. it’s still raw,’ she said on Triple M’s Summer Breakfast Show, which Candice hosts alongside Harley Breen and Tom Tilley.

‘We go to the cricket so often and there’s always people yelling things out and my daughters proudly wear their father’s name on their backs.

‘The fact that my daughters have to cop abuse from incidents that have happened in the past is not fair,’ Candice said tearily, after having to take a moment to compose herself while she talked about her children.

An ashen-faced Candice Warner and wife David carry their daughters Ivy Mae and Indi Rae through Sydney Airport in 2018 after facing the media

An ashen-faced Candice Warner and wife David carry their daughters Ivy Mae and Indi Rae through Sydney Airport in 2018 after facing the media

David Warner was reduced to tears after he fronted a press conference in 2018 on his return to Australia after the ball tampering scandal

David Warner was reduced to tears after he fronted a press conference in 2018 on his return to Australia after the ball tampering scandal

Candice explained Warner – nicknamed ‘The Bull’ by teammates – is as loyal as they come when it involved family, before levelling some explosive claims about their treatment by Cricket Australia. 

‘My husband David always puts family first, and he is fiercely protective of me and the three girls … cricket is not everything. It’s what he does, but it doesn’t define him,’ she said.

‘The fact there was a lack of player welfare, and no welfare about David and our family speaks volumes.

‘It has affected us for so long and I’m pretty sure that everyone doesn’t want to continue talking about this … David has had enough and the team has had enough.’

David Warner (seated) and wife Candice with their three daughters Ivy Mae, Indi Rae, and Isla Rose after the 'Pink Test' in Sydney last year

David Warner (seated) and wife Candice with their three daughters Ivy Mae, Indi Rae, and Isla Rose after the ‘Pink Test’ in Sydney last year

Her comments drag the entire side into the very public spat with Cricket Australia just hours before the start of their second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide. 

Warner had already posted a very cryptic message on his Instagram with a picture of a lion, which had the quote ‘Let the dogs bark, the lion is still King,’ written on it.

It was a post timed just hours after news broke that he would not be captaining the Thunder in his BBL return this season; with the club citing the difficult process to have the ban overturned as the reason why. 

Warner, Candice and their three children had an emotional reunion at Adelaide Airport on Wednesday ahead of the second Test; with all three kids beaming with joy at seeing their dad. 

Isla Rose runs with her arms outstretched as the family reunites with David Warner at the Adelaide Airport on Wednesday

Isla Rose runs with her arms outstretched as the family reunites with David Warner at the Adelaide Airport on Wednesday

Isla Rose also proudly showed off a drawing she had made as the family reunited

Isla Rose also proudly showed off a drawing she had made as the family reunited

David and Candice Warner share three kids (pictured at the Adelaide Airport): Ivy Mae, Indi Rae and Isla Rose

 David and Candice Warner share three kids (pictured at the Adelaide Airport): Ivy Mae, Indi Rae and Isla Rose

David Warner guides his family out of the airport, holding Isla Rose's hand while Ivy Mae walks in front

David Warner guides his family out of the airport, holding Isla Rose’s hand while Ivy Mae walks in front

Warner was facing a public hearing in order to have his life ban overturned, something that didn’t sit well with either of the couple. 

Even Cricket Australia agreed.

‘We are disappointed with this outcome as our intention was to give David the opportunity to demonstrate why his lifetime leadership ban should be varied at an independent hearing and we amended our Code of Conduct accordingly,’ a spokesman said on Wednesday night.

‘We supported David’s wish for these discussions to be heard behind closed doors and respect his decision to withdraw his application.

‘David is a very senior and highly regarded member of the Australian team who has been a great ambassador for the game as a whole since his return from a year-long ban.’

David Warner despairs after being bowled for just five in the opening Test against the West Indies last week

David Warner despairs after being bowled for just five in the opening Test against the West Indies last week

‘David before the Perth Test last week was told it was going to be a public trial, and that not just himself, but players and coaches would have to be cross examined – it’s just outrageous,’ Candice said, as she began to break down crying again. 

‘It’s just unnecessary … this was all about David talking about how he has reformed and the good that he’s done; but this (the trial) is just not what its about.

‘It’s incredibly disappointing, but some things are more important than cricket and sport – and that’s family. 

‘Our family has already suffered and endured so much pain. Why do it (trial) now, what is it going to achieve?

‘For the good of who? For the good of us? No. For the Australian cricket team? No.’

In his statement on Wednesday, Warner slammed the counsel who Cricket Australia effectively outsourced the trial to, for wanting to make the hearing public.

David Warner (left), Steve Smith (centre) and Cameron Bancroft  (right) all faced long suspensions for their role in the Sandpapergate affair, with the former banned from ever holding a leadership position in Australian cricket again

David Warner (left), Steve Smith (centre) and Cameron Bancroft  (right) all faced long suspensions for their role in the Sandpapergate affair, with the former banned from ever holding a leadership position in Australian cricket again

‘They want to conduct a public spectacle to, in the Panel’s words, have a ‘cleansing’. I am not prepared for my family to be the washing machine for cricket’s dirty laundry,’ the statement read.

It should go without saying Warner really should be responsible for his own actions in goading a much younger teammate (Cameron Bancroft, who’s international career has since stalled) into using sandpaper to alter the surface of a cricket ball. 

If he wanted to be considered as a leader, with a title, in Australian cricket again he should have to explain why the now-infamous 2018 incident occurred and how he has reformed as a leader. 

However, almost everyone is in agreeance that it didn’t need to be a public process, particularly given the fact cricket in Australia has appeared to lurch from controversy to controversy ever since so-called ‘Sandpapergate’. 

DAVID WARNER’S FULL STATEMENT

My family is more important to me than cricket.

Over the course of the past nearly five years since the events that occurred during the Third Test in Cape Town, even with all the humiliation and attacks that they have had to endure, I have enjoyed the unwavering support and love of my wife Candice and my three daughters, Ivy Mae, Indi Rae, and Isla Rose. They are my world.

Since that Test and even though my ban from leadership roles may never be lifted, I have taken it upon myself to reform, to rehabilitate and to transform my approach to the game. 

I have served and been subject to a crushing, unprecedented, penalty that has horribly impacted me and my family for the past nearly five years – without the prospect of any relief until now.

On 21 November 2022, the Cricket Australia Code of Conduct for Players and Player Support Personnel (the Code of Conduct) was amended to permit players to apply for a modification to Long-Term Sanctions.

With the announcement of the amendment to the Code of Conduct, I held the hope and was encouraged, that I would be given a proper opportunity to demonstrate to the Review Panel that I have demonstrated my deep regret and remorse; and that my rehabilitation and transformation are profound.

With the encouragement of administrators and colleagues and in accordance with the rules under the Code of Conduct, on 25 November 2022 I submitted an application to Cricket Australia for a modification to my life-time ban from leadership positions in cricket. 

I did so in good faith on the understanding that regular established procedures under the Code of Conduct would be followed. 

I hoped I would be given the opportunity, under the established practice and procedure of the Code of Conduct that is reflected in the amendments, to demonstrate that I have satisfied the necessary requirements for a modification to my ban that I might be permitted to see out of the balance of my career without the yoke hanging around my neck and further anguish for my family. 

However, despite my opposition and that of Cricket Australia, on Tuesday last week Counsel Assisting the Review Panel and the Review Panel took it upon themselves to concoct an irregular procedure (overturning presumptions and previous practice) for the determination of my application and establish a novel approach that would negatively impact the health and welfare of my family and the interests of the Australian cricket team. 

In his submissions, Counsel Assisting made offensive and unhelpful comments about me that had absolutely no substantive purpose under the Code of Conduct.

Regrettably, the Review Panel acted contrary to the submissions of Cricket Australia and my lawyer and appeared to adopt virtually entirely the position of Counsel Assisting.

In effect, Counsel Assisting, and, it appears, to some extent the Review Panel, want to conduct a public trial of me and what occurred during the Third Test at Newlands. 

They want to conduct a public spectacle to, in the Panel’s words, have a ‘cleansing’. I am not prepared for my family to be the washing machine for cricket’s dirty laundry.

The Rules of the Code of Conduct in relation to applications such as mine are clear. Article 10.7 states that the hearing is not an appeal of the original decision or a new review of the offence.

Counsel Assisting the Review Panel appeared to be determined to revisit the events of March 2018 and the Review Panel appears determined to expose me and my family to further humiliation and harm by conducting a media circus. 

I note that the engagement of Counsel Assisting was terminated. Nonetheless, following the curiously irregular position adopted by the Review Panel, and in the interests of my family and Australian cricket, last Thursday I submitted a request for the Review Panel to revisit their procedural decision and at least apply a protocol that is consistent with established practice and procedure under the Code of Conduct. That request had the support of Cricket Australia. 

Having had nearly a week to consider that proposal, today the Review Panel has decided to ignore the request in any meaningful way and has provided a dismissive rejection of the substantive matters.

It appears that the Panel has given no more than passing consideration to issues of player welfare and the interests of Australian cricket and is instead determined to conduct a public lynching. 

Regrettably, I have no practical alternation at this point in time but to withdraw my application. 

I am not prepared to subject my family or my teammates to further trauma and disruption by accepting a departure from the way in which my application should be dealt with pursuant to the Code of Conduct.

Some things are more important than cricket.  


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