'Pretty naive' to blame Warner entirely for ‘Sandpaper-gate’ scandal: Simon Katich

Sports |  IANS  | Published :

New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) Former Australian Test cricketer Simon Katich said that it might be challenging for the majority of the Australian public to forgive David Warner for his role in the sandpaper gate scandal but feels the veteran opener doesn't deserve the full blame for that consequential incident.

In 2018, Warner received a one-year ban from elite cricket and a lifetime ban from leadership positions for his central role in the sandpaper gate scandal. Steve Smith also faced a one-year ban from cricket and a three-year ban from leadership roles along with Cameron Bancroft, who was given a one-year ban from leadership positions and a nine-month playing suspension.

"I think it’s hard to say 'full respect' because I think there is always going to be an element of the public that didn’t like what happened, and rightfully so,” Katich told SEN Sportsday NSW.

"A lot of us couldn’t believe what the Australian team resorted to. But I think to blame him entirely for that whole episode is pretty naive," he added.

Katich further praised Warner's ability to return to elite cricket and perform at a high level despite facing persistent criticism and a tarnished reputation since the scandal.

"I think in time, I’ve got no doubt there will be more said about it. He took the wrap along with Cameron Bancroft and Steve Smith but I think, the public feel there was more to it than just those three.

"At the time, I think what he did was he kept his mouth shut after the initial apology and then got on with trying to go back out there and try to play as good as cricket as he possibly could. That wouldn’t have been easy to do.

"What’s done is done but for David to be able to get back to where he got to after such an enormous event like it was in Cape Town… it was significant to think that he was able to get back and play good cricket after that event," Katich said.

Warner is playing his final Test match of his career on Wednesday in Australia's third and final take against Pakistan at the SCG.

The 36-year-old earlier this week announced the retirement form ODI cricket.

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