David Warner, preparing to captain his franchise in Bangladesh’s Twenty20 league, regards family time and personal development as two positives to come from a year in exile.
Warner, who was given a 12-month ban for his role in the Cape Town cheating scandal, is captaining the Sylhet Sixers in the T20 tournament that Steve Smith is also taking part in.
The deposed vice-captain, painted as the architect and chief corrupter in a formal investigation of the ball-tampering saga conducted by Cricket Australia (CA), spoke to local reporters shortly after landing in Dhaka.
The 32-year-old didn’t open up about Smith and Cameron Bancroft’s interviews on Fox, who many feel threw Warner under the bus.
Warner, whose Sixers kick off their campaign with a match against Smith’s Comilla Victorians on Sunday, instead detailed how “life has been good for me”.
“I have been spending time with the family. I wouldn’t be able to do that if I wasn’t sitting in the sidelines,” Warner said in his first interview since November, when he spoke after playing against Smith in Sydney grade cricket.
“It is about getting the best out of myself and growing as a human being. My most important thing was being a father and husband at home.
“Now it is down to playing cricket again and making sure I get Sylhet Sixers on top of the table.”
It appeared Warner’s international career could be over in the immediate aftermath of the Newlands nightmare, which left both CA bigwigs and teammates furious.
But national coach Justin Langer, Test captain Tim Paine and ODI skipper Aaron Finch have all recently indicated the hard-hitting opener will be welcomed back with open arms.
Warner and the World Cup, Ashes
Warner is likely to be part of Australia’s World Cup and Ashes defence in England this year, while he could possibly return for Australia in late March during an ODI series against Pakistan.
“It’s up to the selectors whether or not they want to pick me,” he said.
“All I can do is score runs in this tournament and the IPL, keep putting my hand up and making sure that I am the best person I can be.”
Warner noted he is grateful for the opportunity to captain Sylhet, also playing down the prospect of this weekend’s tournament opener doubling as a grudge match against Smith.
“I will just treat it as another game. It is not just taking on one player but taking on a team of eleven players,’ Warner said.
“It is about making sure that our bowlers know how to get Smith out, and then tackle the rest of the guys.”