David Warner has a mountain to climb. Picture: MIchael Dodge/Getty Images
David Warner has a mountain to climb. Picture: MIchael Dodge/Getty Images

'Humbled' Warner speaks out on Top-End tour

BANNED Aussie cricket star David Warner has spoken publicly for the first time since his infamous ball tampering press conference - turning up in the Northern Territory to promote a locally developed driving app.

Having gone underground for more than a month following his return to Sydney after his dismissal from Australia's disastrous tour of South Africa, the architect of Australia's ball-tampering shame says his time away from the game has "humbled" him.

The 31-year-old has spoken to The NT News, declaring the support he has received during his brief time in exile has rejuvenated him after a taxing series of cricket tours.

"It is humbling and overwhelming," Warner said.

"Sometimes you sit back and reflect and wonder do people care about you as a person.

"Sometimes with our society something has to happen for the worst for people to come out and show a lot of support and I think I've learned a valuable lesson in this myself for the support I have been given to be on the front foot to help others."

His 12-month ban for ball tampering, alongside dumped captain Steve Smith (12-month suspension) and opener Cameron Bancroft (nine months) during the third Test in Cape Town, suddenly appears a long time ago.

Warner said even before he had accepted his suspension, he intended to take a break from cricket with his family, and he had done exactly that.

He said spending time with wife Candice and daughters Ivy Mae and Indi Rae allowed him to realise he had lost context within cricket's "bubble".

"I think the biggest thing for us has been when you are in a routine you can get caught in a bubble - cricket, hotels, packing your bags, coming home," he said.


David Warner says he has received plenty of support. Picture: Richard Dobson
David Warner says he has received plenty of support. Picture: Richard Dobson

"You are not home for long. With an extended period of time you are in a good routine, but then it is selfless - kids are a priority - so it's day care, swimming lessons, gymnastic lessons and then you get your quality time together as parents.

"Candice and I do all those things together. We take them (their daughters) to these things together - pick them up together.

"I always make sure I am able to do it all the time. I am making time now and it is worthwhile.

"I've missed that part until now, where the kids run up to the gate saying, 'Mummy and Daddy are here', and I am really enjoying and embracing that."

Warner is in the NT as an ambassador for phone app DriveAbout and is set to undertake a trek in Arnhem Land with Australia's largest indigenous corporation, the Arnhem Land Progress Association.

Earlier on Friday, Smith declared he was ready to get back to business after returning to Australia.

Smith took to Instagram to reveal  he had returned home after spending much of the past month overseas in the wake of the ball-tampering saga that cost him the Australian captaincy and a 12-month ban from the game.

Posing with fiancee Dani Willis, Smith - who was spotted at a bar in New York in the wake of his suspension - said he had been humbled by the support of well-wishers.

"It's great to be back home in Australia," he said in the post.


The Reverend is back for now.
The Reverend is back for now.

"I have had some time away to come to terms with everything and now it's time to get back into it.

"The amount of emails and letters I have received has been incredible and I have been extremely humbled by the enormous amount of support you have given me.

"I now have a lot to do to earn back your trust."

The bans handed to the ball tampering trio prevent them from playing international or Australian domestic cricket, although there is nothing stopping them from signing with an English county side.

It is unclear whether Smith will pursue such a move, although he is expected to return to grade cricket in Sydney next summer.

The 28-year-old remains affiliated with Fox Sports and has been linked to a potential commentary role under their new broadcast deal.

On Thursday, newly appointed Australian coach Justin Langer said he would welcome back each of the banned trio once they had served their suspensions.

"Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith literally, besides Mike Hussey, love the game more than anyone I know," Langer said.

"They are cricket tragics and they're great kids. That's why it's such a surprise they made the mistake they did.

"If we can keep mentoring them and helping them, and they want to keep getting better and they want to meet the standards of the Australian cricket team, then of course they'll (all) be welcomed back."

- with AAP

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