Cricket Australia is looking to lift David Warner’s life leadership ban as early as Friday, with the directors looking to rewrite the organisation’s code of conduct.
David Warner has had a leadership ban on his head since the 2018 ball-tampering scandal, with whom he is keen to reverse the sentence. The 35-year-old has been mentioned as a candidate for Australia’s vacant one-day captaincy, but he cannot fulfill the role under his restrictions.
Under the current rules, players who accept sanction under the Code of Conduct forfeit their right to review the matter. That means a review of Warner’s ban would require a rewrite of CA’s code, something the directors will discuss at Friday’s board meeting in Hobart.
“The idea within Cricket Australia is that David is doing particularly well on the field and is making a great contribution off the field,” said chairman Lachlan Henderson. The first step in the context of David’s lead restrictions is to review the code and see if those restrictions can be reviewed. And that code would need to be amended appropriately.”
Henderson said the code would be rewritten if deemed necessary before taking a call on one-day captaincy.
“Our intention is to get the code reviewed as quickly as possible. It’s in no one’s interest to us to delay it,” Henderson said. “It will be time for any future leadership talks regarding David Warner.”
However there are hurdles to be clarified. CA is apprehensive that any changes to the Code, in consultation with Ethics Commissioner Simon Longstaff, could impact matters beyond Warner.
At the same time, CEO Nick Hockley insisted that players had a right to show that they had changed since being handed a lifetime ban.
“In very simple terms, we are looking at reviewing the restrictions for good practice and development after a period of time,” Hockley said. “For tomorrow’s discussion, then the code will need to be amended and it will need to be approved by the board.”
The pair’s remarks came after CA reported a loss of $5.1 million for the 2021-22 fiscal year at Thursday’s AGM.
CA largely attributed the decline in media rights from the UK to last summer’s Ashes, along with the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Following the decision to exit Mel Jones, former female sharp Klee Smith was also unanimously voted on the CA board as the only former player serving as director.
Smith has previously held roles in the Australian Cricketers’ Association and was influential in the parental leave policy being introduced in 2019. Former Cricket Victoria president David Maddox was also voted as a replacement for outgoing Mitchell Tredenik.
Meanwhile, CA is undecided about lifting the ban on Afghanistan playing in bilateral matches ahead of the three-match ODI series early next year. Australia declined to host the country during the Taliban regime last summer but have agreed to face them in the men’s T20 World Cup on 4 November as it is an ICC event.