SYDNEY – Disgraced Australian cricketer David Warner said on Saturday he was humbled by the support received following the cheating scandal that rocked the sport, with the feisty opener refocused on his family.
Warner was considered the mastermind behind the plan to use sandpaper to tamper with the ball during the third Test in South Africa in March.
Speaking for the first time since an emotional press conference to apologise last month, Warner told Australian newspaper NT News he was using his time away from cricket to reconnect with his family.
“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.
Family activities like children’s swimming lessons and gymnastics classes are now priorities, he said.
“I am making time now, and it is worthwhile,” Warner added.
“I’ve missed that part where the kids run up to the gate saying ‘Mummy and Daddy are here’ and I am really enjoying and embracing that.”
While former skipper Steve Smith was charged with knowledge of the ball-tampering plot, Warner was charged with developing it and instructing fellow opener Cameron Bancroft to carry it out.
Smith and then vice-captain Warner were banned for 12 months, while Bancroft was exiled for nine months.
Warner was also barred from ever holding a leadership role again in Australian cricket, and had “resigned to the fact” he may never play for his country again.
But both Cricket Australia and newly-appointed coach Justin Langer have opened the door for a return of Smith, Bancroft and Warner.
The former vice-captain said the support he has received during the fallout from the scandal had been “humbling and overwhelming”.
“Sometimes with our society, something has to happen for the worst for people to come out and show a lot of support,” he said.
“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.”
Deposed captain Steve Smith announced on social media on Friday that he had returned to Australia from overseas, seeking to win back trust after the scandal.