Ten months ago, David Warner was the undisputed villain of Australia’s great moral panic over Sandpapergate.
As recently as the Boxing Day Test, guileless and clunking moves were clearly in place to position Warner as the scapegoat for that one-off out-of-character moment of indiscretion from the team in South Africa <Harry Hill look to camera>.
We’ll be honest, we didn’t think he’d play for Australia again. But via a combination of just keeping quiet, Smith and Bancroft making dicks of themselves and Australia’s openers being rubbish, Warner now looks poised for a triumphant return to the ranks in a World Cup and Ashes year.
His redemption arc is going to be truly epic. And just to make that clear, he decided to bat right-handed in a BPL game and promptly smacked 14 runs in six balls.
This the first shot facing up right handed. Lofted straight six. Whatever pic.twitter.com/Q5GxxKtTBT
— Nick Toovey (@tooves) January 16, 2019
Growing frustrated after a couple of dot balls against Chris Gayle’s slow-motion off-spin, Warner decided “F*** this” and went full Ronnie O’Sullivan on us. The first right-handed ball was smacked down the ground for six. The second was swept hard for four. Then, best of all, the third was reverse-swept to the third-man/fine-leg/whatever boundary. A left-hander, batting right-handed, playing a reverse sweep. It’s the future.
Sadly, the Sandpaper Three continue to be beset by injury problems as they return to the great game. Warner has now, like Smith, picked up an elbow injury in Bangladesh, while the country’s top surgeons remain unsure whether they will ever be able to successfully remove Bancroft’s head from his arse.
The Australian’s peak moment at the helm came last year as he shepherded England to their first ever World Cup crown.
Any return would have to be considered in the future with Yorkshire’s players and staff having taken wage cuts due to the pandemic.
The traditional method of spit-polishing to produce movement through the air has been deemed too great a risk of transmitting coronavirus.
The Lancastrian was fresh off some standout displays in the 2003 World Cup.
Hales lost his place in last year’s World Cup-winning squad after news of a second failed test for recreational drugs.
The Warwickshire all-rounder is one on 18 bowlers to be selected for personalised practice.
The West Indies are due to arrive on these shores first this summer.
Broad took part in an individual training session at Trent Bridge.
Clare Connor suggested England are considering hosting a Women’s Tri-Series also involving India and South Africa.