DAVID Warner expects he and Steve Smith will have to see out their 12-month bans despite a challenge launched by the players’ union.
The pair faced off in a highly-anticipated Sydney Grade Cricket match on Saturday, with more than 2000 people looking on at Coogee Oval and some overflowing onto the ground.
Warner and Smith remain unable to play for Australia until the end of March, although their official return won’t come until next year’s 50-over World Cup in England in June.
Cameron Bancroft is also still suspended, allowed to return at the end of December.
A submission from the Australian Cricketers’ Association for an earlier return from the ball-tampering saga currently sits with Cricket Australia, with the board giving it “due consideration”.
But Warner said in his mind the ban would remain as he aimed to avoid further distractions.
“At the end of the day I’m sitting here 12 months on the sideline, that’s my take on it,” he said.
“That’s why I want to keep being positive about the guys that are playing and pump them up.
“We can’t keep sitting here going ‘they’re going to be in’ or ‘they’re not going to be in’. We just want the game to be pumped us as much as we can.”
Talk of unrest between Warner and Smith were put to bed as the former vice-captain insisted the duo had a close bond.
‘’There’s been a lot of media talk there that we don’t get along and that I’ve thrown him under the bus here and there,’’ Warner said.
‘’It’s good comedy for us because we enjoy and just sit back and laugh.
‘’We’re catching up with each other and texting each other. We don’t read it all but some of the fun stuff that the boys throw towards us, we just laugh at it.’’
The 32-year-old also declined to say whether he spoke to the ACA before they announced the submissions to the board.
But he said he still remained motivated in himself despite the lengthy stint out of the international game.
“I’m always motivated,” Warner said.
“Sometimes I go out there and I’m pretty wired and I’ve had to tame myself a little bit. Its no different when we come out here (in grade cricket) to compete.
“’Play hard’ gets thrown out a lot and a lot of people talk about our behaviour. At the end of the day we’re trying to play the game hard but in the right spirits.
“The end result and long-form goal is to get back in the Baggy Green and play the World Cup but it’s a game at a time.”
The left-hander scored 13 for Randwick Petersham before he was caught at backward point slashing outside off stump at a ball from Austin Waugh, the son of former Australian captain Steve.
Smith hit 48 in reply, his innings far more circumspect as he struck two boundaries down the ground in his 71-ball knock before his Sutherland side got home in the final over.
Former Test all-rounder Shane Watson also put on a show with a 41-ball 63, as Steve Waugh and Mitchell Johnson were in a crowd that spilt inside the picket fence before the boundary rope.
“What happened was very disappointing and we put our hands up and we are ashamed of what happened,” Warner said.
“But we’re here to try and promote cricket and it’s a fun game and we’re trying to get Australians back loving it.”
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