David Warner’s club comeback will help earn back the respect of the Australian public


Posted

May 18, 2018 06:54:21

Former Australia cricket vice-captain David Warner is attempting to put his cricket career back on track by committing to playing the start of the Sydney grade season with Randwick Petersham.

Warner has been with Randwick Petersham for the past five seasons after switching from Eastern Suburbs.

He has rarely been sighted due to state, national and Indian Premier League commitments, but now it is his only way back, the same goes for Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft.

Is it fair the trio can still play while banned from international cricket in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal?

I think so. A line has now been drawn in the sand and it is time to move on.

Randwick Petersham president Mike Whitney said he had no issue giving the green light for Warner to play grade cricket for the club.

“David wouldn’t have played maybe half a dozen games for us over the past five years because they’re just not around,” Whitney said.

“So to have players like David Warner playing in grade cricket, why wouldn’t I want as the president of the club such a wonderful player, imparting his knowledge on the younger players and trying to make them better players?”

But Whitney, a retired Australia Test paceman, admitted there had been questions around his decision.

“I was asked many times would we be allowing David to play for the club and my answer immediately was yes we would,” he said.

“Because if we didn’t allow him to play for Randwick Petersham, I’m sure there would be 19 clubs on the phone tomorrow wanting him to play for them.”

Smith is set to play for Sutherland in Sydney too, while Cameron Bancroft will turn out for his local Western Australian club Willetton.

Cricket New South Wales chief executive Andrew Jones said having Warner and Steve Smith available for their respective local clubs could only be a good thing.

“They’re entitled to make their way back and the penalty specifically allows them to play premier league cricket and we’re looking forward to having them back,” he said.

Chance to make the grade all over again

The public will get a chance to see Warner and Smith rebuild their careers on the suburban fields of Sydney this summer.

The players have already been steamrolled for their role in the fiasco, so why reverse the roller back over them?

The small dressing rooms and canteen sausage sizzles will be a far cry from Test cricket.

But it will give them a chance to get back to their roots and begin their quest to earn back the respect of the Australian public, their teammates and ultimately the baggy green.

A silver lining on a dark cloud hanging over the sport.

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