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Warner withdraws appeal after ‘offensive’ claim

David Warner has sensationally drawn an application to have his Cricket Australia leadership ban overturned.

And he’s taken aim at the legal counsel assisting the independent panel for allegedly making “offensive comments” during a hearing last week.

Warner was whacked with a lifetime leadership ban for his role in the infamous 2018 Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

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Cricket Australia last month moved to make alterations to its code of conduct, which allowed the fiery opening batter to appeal his ban.

Warner submitted an application to have his suspension overturned, but in a stunning twist on Wednesday he announced he has withdrawn the appeal.

Warner took to Instagram to post a lengthy rant.

“My family is more important to me than cricket,” he said.

“Over the course of the past nearly five years since the events that occurred during the third Test in Cape Town, even with all the humiliation and attacks that they have had to endure, I have enjoyed the unwavering support and love of my wife Candice and my three daughters, Ivy Mae, Indi Rae, and Isla Rose. They are my world.

“Since that Test and even though my ban from leadership roles may never be lifted, I have taken it upon myself to reform, to rehabilitate and to transform my approach to the game.

“I have served and been subject to a crushing, unprecedented penalty that has horribly impacted me and my family for the past nearly five years – without the prospect of any relief until now.

“I held the hope and was encouraged that I would be given a proper opportunity to demonstrate to the review panel that I have demonstrated my deep regret and remorse, and that my rehabilitation and transformation are profound.

“I hoped I would be given the opportunity, under the established practice and procedure of the code of conduct that is reflected in the amendments, to demonstrate that I have satisfied the necessary requirements for a modification to my ban and that I might be permitted to see out the balance of my career without the yoke hanging around my neck and further anguish for my family.

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“Despite my opposition and that of Cricket Australia, on Tuesday last week counsel assisting the review panel and the review panel took it upon themselves to concoct an irregular procedure (overturning presumptions and previous practice) for the determination of my application and establish a novel approach that would negatively impact the health and welfare of my family and the interests of the Australian cricket team.

“In his submissions, counsel assisting made offensive and unhelpful comments about me that had absolutely no substantive purpose under the code of conduct.

“Regrettably, the review panel acted contrary to the submissions of Cricket Australia and my lawyer and appeared to adopt virtually entirely the position of counsel assisting.

“In effect, counsel assisting, and, it appears, to some extent the review panel, want to conduct a public trial of me and what occurred during the third Test at Newlands. They want to conduct a public spectacle to, in the panel’s words , have a ‘cleansing’. I am not prepared for my family to be the washing machine for cricket’s dirty laundry.

“Counsel assisting and the review panel appeared to be determined to revisit the events of March 2018 and the review panel appears determined to expose me and my family to further humiliation and harm by conducting a media circus.”

Warner says last Thursday he submitted a request for the review panel to change this procedure, and claims he had the support of Cricket Australia.

But that request was denied, and so Warner withdrew his application.

“It appears the panel has given no more than passing consideration to issues of player welfare and the interests of Australian cricket and is instead determined to conduct a public lynching.”

Warner’s bombshell statement drops on the eve of the second Test of the Australian summer.

Warner will line up with the Aussies at Adelaide Oval on Thursday to take on the West Indies.

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