The infamous ball-tampering scandal has now again reignited in the middle of the ongoing Australian Test summer. Recently, David Warner withdrew his application to have his leadership ban overturned due to frustration over the public nature of the process.
Now, Warner’s manager James Erskine has claimed that Australia were given the green flag to tamper with the ball after their defeat against South Africa in Hobart in 2016-17. During that match, the Aussies were bowled out for 85 and lost by an innings and 80 runs.
Erskine said that post the humiliating loss against the Proteas, two senior executives came into Australia’s change room and told the players to do certain things to reverse the ball, even if it took the tampering of the red-leather.
“Two senior executives were in the changing room in Hobart and basically were berating the team for losing against South Africa. And Warner said we’ve got to reverse swing the ball, and the only way we can reverse swing the ball is basically by tampering with it. So they were told to do it,” said Erskine while speaking at SEN radio.
Erskine observed that Warner had been treated much more unsympathetically as compared to others and that Cricket Australia (CA) should have handled the whole matter internally rather than through a review panel.
“You’d have to be a blind black Labrador to not realise there was far more than three people involved in this thing. They all got a canning, and David Warner was completely villainised. He has shut up, he protected Cricket Australia, he protected his fellow players on my advice, because at the end of the day no one wanted to hear any more of it, and he’s got on playing cricket,” claimed Erskine.
“Why Cricket Australia couldn’t have done a very sensible thing and said ‘Listen, it’s not legal that someone doesn’t have a right of appeal’. It’s just absurd, why should he have to go through that? He has done everything he possibly could for Cricket Australia and for his team, and now he’s being treated like this… this is injustice at its greatest level,” he added.