David Warner‘s manager James Erskine has claimed that Australia were given the go-ahead to tamper with the ball after their defeat against South Africa in Hobart in 2016-17, when Australia were bowled out for 85 and lost by an innings and 80 runs in little more than two days.

“Two senior executives were in the changing room in Hobart, and basically were berating the team for losing against South Africa,” Erskine told SEN radio. “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.”

Erskine did not specify who exactly “told” them to tamper with the ball, and did not name the executives either who were present after the loss.

Speaking after Warner released his statement saying he was withdrawing his appeal to have his leadership ban overturned, Erskine also reiterated previous views about the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering controversy, saying that more than three people had to know about the plans and that the “truth will come out”.

Discussing the punishments handed out after Newlands, Erskine said that Warner had been treated much more harshly than others, and that Cricket Australia should have handled overturning the leadership ban internally rather than through a review panel which decided they wanted to re-examine the whole incident.

“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 said. “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.

“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.”

On the field after giving up on his attempts to be captain in any cricket under CA again, Warner scored 21 on the opening morning of the second Test against West Indies in Adelaide. He started positively, driving the first ball of the game for three, and collected four boundaries before edging a drive against a wide delivery from Alzarri Joseph.


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