Sydney: David Warner’s first public comments since Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft’s controversial interviews have reinforced how he is winning the PR battle of the Newlands trio. Warner made a rare media appearance this week in Bangladesh, where he is playing in its national Twenty20 competition.
Though he would undoubtedly have been given a more thorough grilling in Australia, there was nothing sinister in the choice of location. Warner has spoken at every league he has played – from the NT Strike, to the Global T20 in Canada, Sydney grade cricket and now the Bangladesh Premier League.
The only news value from his unremarkable press conference was that he had spoken rather than what was said.
Selection for Australia was up to the selectors, he said. Being a father and husband was his priority, he said, and now that he is playing in Bangladesh his goal was to get his team to the top.
The interview barely raised a ripple at the SCG on Friday, in contrast to the hot reception given to Smith and Bancroft on Boxing Day and the days leading up to it.
That senior Cricket Australia figures are now noting how mature Warner has been is noteworthy in itself. There would hardly have been a tear shed at CA in April if Warner had tucked his bat under his arm and never come back.
Some are wondering if Warner, now under the management of James Erskine, who once had Greg Norman, Tiger Woods and Shane Warne on his books, is listening more to his advisors.
Warner’s value to the national team grows with every day they take to the field as it becomes apparent how important he is to their chances of winning anything.