Australian batsmen David Warner gave an emotional acceptance speech having claimed the Allan Border Medal at the Australia Cricket Awards on Monday night.
The 33-year-old completed a stunning return to international cricket by claiming the gong for a third time, finishing a single vote ahead of Steve Smith, who along with Warner was banned from representing Autstralia following the 2018 sandpaper scandal.
Warner choked back the tears while reflecting on his journey at Melbourne’s Crown Palladium.
An emotional @davidwarner31 accepts his third Allan Border Medal.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) February 10, 2020
“I couldn’t be any prouder to stand here and receive the award,” Warner said.
“I really had a hunger and determination to come back and really put my foot forward, so to have a summer like that really put a smile on my face.
“My mum and dad, I know I’ve let you down a lot in the past but you always stick by my side and I really appreciate that, and my brother.
“My wife, my rock, I don’t know what could ever break you, you’re absolutely fantastic, you’re an inspiration not just to me but to the girls.
“It’s hard for a man to stand up here and say a lot of nice words about people but you always seem to bring the best out of me and the kindness of my heart. I can’t thank you enough for what you do for me and our family. I love you dearly.”
Warner said he had mixed emotions about the reception he would receive returning to Australia from South Africa after ‘sandpapergate’.
“But standing here today, I’m really proud to have that opportunity again and, extremely grateful for that, I thank Cricket Australia and teammates for giving me that opportunity,” he said.
“The way Finchy and Painey accepted us and were always in contact with us. And I really want to thank my home club team Randwick-Petersham for giving me the opportunity to go out there and play grade cricket.
“I realised a lot of things in that time off we don’t actually understand or realise when were in this bubble the importance of the smiles on the faces we bring to people.
“To go back there and be able to be reintegrated into grassroots, go back to grade cricket and put smiles onto people’s faces that way, it helped me to get to where I am today. Because without that, getting cricket taken away from you, something I’ve always dreamed off, it really really hurt.”
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