Shane Watson urges Cricket Australia to welcome David Warner back

Warner and Smith have been banned for 1 year by Cricket Australia.

David Warner
Australian cricketer David Warner. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

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Australian all-rounder Shane Watson has urged Cricket Australia to welcome David Warner back without a negative bone after the opener completes his suspension. Warner was handed a year-long ban for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal against South Africa in late 2017. Meanwhile, Australian skipper Steve Smith is also serving a year-long ban, and Test opener Cameron Bancroft was suspended for 9 months. The trio is virtually ruled out of an important series against India, who will be travelling Down Under in November.

Tim Paine, who’s taken Smith’s place in the side, will be leading Australia in their upcoming series against Pakistan in the UAE. This will be Australia’s first Test series since the ball-tampering scandal rocked the nation. As Paine’s side departed for the UAE on Wednesday, Watson made a pitch for Warner’s return to the Australian Test side, stating that the Aussies cannot afford to play with such an inexperienced side against the teams like Pakistan and India.

“If he was a run of the mill player it might be a different story, but he’s not.” – Shane Watson on David Warner

There are speculations that Warner might not sport the baggy green again. However, according to reports, the high-performance side within Australia is keen to bring the left-hander back. His return could well become a necessity if the weakened Australians are humiliated in the UAE. Furthermore, Australia will have a long sojourn in England next year as they set out to defend both the World Cup as well as the Ashes.

Warner key to World Cup defence feels Watson

“He’s an incredible player at his best. I find it hard for us to win a World Cup next year if Dave’s not playing in the one-day team – he’s that good,” Watson was quoted as saying to Fairfax Media. “We’ve got a number of really good players but not to the same level under pressure that Dave’s shown for a long period of time.

“If he was a run of the mill player it might be a different story, but he’s not. He’s one of the best players across the world in all formats and he’s an opening batsman. We don’t have 10 world-class batters ready to go. Dave is one of the best players in the world. You don’t have these guys coming through the system all the time. I hope it’s not the last we’ve seen of him in international cricket,” he added.

Warner’s relationship with his teammates wasn’t at its best either, and he himself admitted that he needed to become a better teammate. And as per Watson, he believes coach Justin Langer is the right man appointed for the job, who can ensure Warner has a smooth re-entry into the side.

Both Warner and Smith will not be able to represent Australia until March 2019. Moreover, Australia cannot have Smith at the helm until March 2020 at least, and David Warner will not be considered for a leadership position either.

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