Ian Chappell has shot down calls for David Warner’s lifetime leadership ban to be lifted by Cricket Australia, declaring there’s no point because “he’s too old” to captain a national team.
But Chappell also claimed Cricket Australia’s insistence on offloading the problem to an independent panel was another indication of the governing body’s selfish motives, stating “they will only ever do anything to protect their own backside”.
Warner’s lawyer, Adam Lunn, urged Cricket Australia to remove the ban imposed on the former Test vice-captain in an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age last week.
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“Of course CA’s board now has the power to review and lift its own ban. It was a CA board ban and CA is the governing body,” Lunn said.
“Why CA doesn’t just do that only compounds the shambolic approach taken by the panel.”
Chappell has always maintained that Warner and Smith should have received identical bans for the roles they played in the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.
The former national captain renewed his gripe with the gulf in bans in an interview with Wide World of Sports this week, branding it “absolute rubbish”.
He’s also long believed that Warner would have thrived as national captain in any format.
But the opening batter is now 36.
“If Cricket Australia were to lift the ban on Warner, what’s that going to do? I mean, you’re not going to appoint Warner captain of any Australian team, are you? He’s too old,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports .
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“And he’s not going to be given the captaincy because the captain has got to be young enough to be able to lead by example, and those days are gone for David.
“I think David probably wanted the leadership to his BBL team (the Sydney Thunder) so he could help them. He would have been a very good leader for them because he’s done it before, he’s done it well and he thinks very aggressively about the game of cricket.
“So whatever leadership position he had he would be good at.
“But he realized what Cricket Australia were trying to do — in other words, look after themselves, not him — and he just said, ‘No, I don’t want to know about that’. He probably had other reasons, as well , but as far as I’m concerned that’s the main reason: they don’t look after the player.”
Chappell said on 3AW radio in February that Cricket Australia had been incompetent for 60 years.
In recent times, Cricket Australia’s handling of the Tim Paine sexting scandal, his appointment of Smith to Test vice-captain and how he dealt with Langer’s exit as national coach left Chappell criticizing the governing body.
“The thing about it is the impression it creates with the public,” Chappell said of the Warner leadership saga.
“The public has thought for a while now that Cricket Australia are not very good, and this is just another example of Cricket Australia not being very good … they’ve handled it badly all the way through.
“My point is that Cricket Australia will never do anything in the interest of the players or the player; they will only ever do anything to protect their own backside. That’s what they were going to do with Warner’s case. They’ve done it in every previous case, so I wasn’t surprised … that’s their whole reason for operating — to make sure that it doesn’t come back to haunt them.”
Chappell doesn’t believe axing Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley would achieve anything.
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“You can jump up and down about sacking this bloke, sacking that bloke. What are you trying to do? Are you just trying to find a scapegoat or are you trying to solve a problem?” Chappell said.
“Are these questions asked? I don’t know if they are and it’s not my business.
“But, to me, if I’m in charge, as I was for a few years (as Australian captain), I’m not bothered so much about who caused the problem; I want the problem fixed.
“It’s very easy to sack, but the hard part is always finding someone better.
“That might be a good headline for a newspaper, ‘Sack Nick Hockley’, but does it solve the problem? I don’t think it does.”
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