David Warner welcomes chance to have Australia leadership ban lifted - 'I am not a criminal'

David Warner welcomes chance to have Australia leadership ban lifted - 'I am not a criminal'

David Warner has welcomed the chance to apply for his lifetime leadership ban with Cricket Australia to be lifted, saying "I am not a criminal."

Warner, 36, was permanently suspended from leadership positions after he was found to have instigated the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town in 2018.

However, Cricket Australia requested a review into its code of conduct - which previously stated players could not challenge a sanction once it had been accepted - and the recommendations have now been formally approved.

Warner, who had deputised as white-ball captain prior to the ball-tampering episode, is now allowed to push for his punishment to be "modified" as long as "exceptional circumstances" exist.

Those circumstances include whether Warner has shown genuine remorse for his actions in Cape Town four years ago, his behaviour since the incident occurred, and whether enough time has passed to allow for reform.

Speaking on Monday, Warner said he was frustrated that the process had been so "drawn out" and "traumatic" for him, with the Australian players' union having written to Cricket Australia in February urging for his ban to be reconsidered.

Warner told the media: "It's a tad disappointing that when you make a decision in 2018, it's in four days and then this takes nine months. We could have done this when it was first brought up.

"It's been drawn out. It's been traumatic for me and my family and everyone else that was involved in it. We haven't needed to go back into that detail. We don't need to relive what happened.

"I'm not a criminal. You should get the right of an appeal at some stage. I understand that they put a ban in place but banning someone for life, I think it's a bit harsh.

"It's good to get in a position where it gives me an opportunity to ring up the integrity unit to have a word to them and put forward my case."

A Cricket Australia statement read: "Under the changes, players and support staff can now apply to have long-term sanctions modified.

"Any applications will be considered by a three-person review panel, comprising independent code of conduct commissioners, which must be satisfied that exceptional circumstances exist to justify modifying a sanction."

Warner - who was banned from the game for one year by Cricket Australia after the ball-tampering scandal - has skippered Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL since his Australian leadership ban came into effect.

The left-hander could now deputise for Test and one-day international captain Pat Cummins, while he may also be a candidate to lead the T20 side if Aaron Finch opts to step down from that role.

Warner is currently part of an Australia ODI squad looking to clinch a 3-0 sweep of England by winning Tuesday's final match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

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