‘Forgive and forget’, says Greg Chappell as he asks CA to overturn Warner’s leadership role ban

With reports surfacing in the Australian media about stalwart David Warner’s leadership ban likely to be overturned by Cricket Australia (CA), legendary cricketer Greg Chappell feels the 35-year-old should get a reprieve soon, saying it’s time to “forgive and forget”.

Aaron Finch’s retirement as Australia ODI skipper has given Warner hope of taking charge of the side, but reportedly there are several hurdles in the way, the most difficult being Cricket Australia (CA) having to rewrite its code of conduct.

Three Australia cricketers — the then-skipper Steve Smith, his deputy Warner and Cameron Bancroft — were banned from playing international and domestic cricket for varying periods not exceeding a year in the wake of the episode, also called the ‘sandpaper-gate scandal’.

The episode that happened during the Cape Town Test in 2018, not only prompted CA to ban the trio, but also barred Smith from taking up leadership role for two years, while Warner was banned from any such role for the rest of his professional life.

But since Warner has returned to the side after serving the ban, he has guided the team to victory in several campaigns, including Australia’s maiden title triumph in the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE last year. He has also been at his best behaviour, prompting several present and former cricketers, including Test skipper Pat Cummins, to ask CA to lift the leadership ban on the veteran player.

Chappell said everyone should be given a second chance in the wake of CA bosses reportedly considering “adding a clause into its code of conduct that would allow long-term sanctions to be reviewed on the basis of good behaviour”, according to sen.com.au. As the per current CA rules, “once a punishment is accepted by the player at fault it cannot be challenged.”

Chappell said the time is right to allow Warner back into the leadership role.

“I think it is (time is right),” Chappell told SEN’s Mornings. “I don’t think there should be different levels of punishment for people who were involved in the same incident. I think it’s time to forgive and forget.

“Everyone deserves a second chance, Davey has paid his penance. He’s a very good leader, he’s done it in the IPL and showed he’s gone a very good understanding of the strategic side of the game and he’s got a real passion for presenting his country. I would certainly be overturning that decision.”

With Finch retiring from ODI cricket, there’s a “distinct possibility” Warner could be asked to take over the leadership role of the side in the short term. Also, Big Bash League (BBL) side Sydney Thunder too are reportedly keen to make Warner captain for the upcoming edition of the tournament.

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