Pugnacious Australian opener David Warner has fired another shot at Cricket Australia, saying they gave him no support at the start of this domestic season.
On Monday, Warner will become the 14th Australian to play 100 Tests when the host nation takes on South Africa at the MCG in the Boxing Day match.
But it has been a tumultuous local season for Warner so far, as he struggles for runs and deals with the ongoing fallout from Sandpapergate.
Earlier this month, he withdrew an appeal against CA’s leadership ban and spoke of his anger about the process.
On Saturday, he said his state of mind had not been great before the first Test against the West Indies in Perth.
“My mental health probably wasn’t where it was at, or where I need to be at, to be 100 per cent – and that was challenging,” he said.
“If I had my way, we would have had that all sorted.
“From the CA point of view, I didn’t really have any support.
“My teammates and the staff in our team were absolutely amazing, and my family and friends, so they really got me through that period.”
He doubled down in his criticism of CA when asked about why the process around appealed his leadership ban had gone so long.
Warner, captain Steve Smith and teammate Cameron Bancroft were all punished for their roles when Australia were caught ball tampering during the 2018 Newlands Test against South Africa.
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Specifically, Warner had wanted to overturn his lifetime leadership ban and has now given up that fight – but the bad blood with CA remains strong.
“We reached out in February, so we have no idea how it went on so far,” he said.
“Only CA can answer that and they’ll probably give you the same thing that they always give everyone else – they don’t really give an answer.”
But Warner also stressed the ill feeling towards CA does not permeate through the whole Test team.
He also said he would probably try to clear the air with CA once this series ends, adding his mindset is much better heading into the Boxing Day Test.
“It’s Christmas time … it’s the festive part of the year, I’m in a great head space now,” he said.
“I’m pumped to walk out here and play another Boxing Day Test, but more importantly, we have a series that’s on the line.
“Hopefully Santa Claus comes tonight.”
Warner was blasted out for a golden duck and three in the first Test as his indifferent form continues, but he is adamant he will turn things around.
“Yeah my back’s up against the wall, but it’s in my DNA to keep being competitive, come out here with a smile on my face and take on whatever opposition we’re going to face,” he said.
Asked if he wants to keep playing Test cricket beyond this series, Warner replied: “One hundred per cent.
“I love it. I wake up every day, I get out of bed knowing I have a game the next day, with the same smile on my face, the same energy and enthusiasm.
“You ask any of the players in the changeroom who’s the loudest, it’s me.
“It’s what I live for.”
Along with Warner’s milestone, the Boxing Day Test will also be a tribute to Shane Warne, who died suddenly on March 4.
“It’s massive – from our perspective, it was big coming through when Phil (teammate Phil Hughes) passed away,” he said.
“Obviously an icon of the game, Shane Warne … what he did for cricket, for Australian cricket, for people around the world was absolutely amazing.”
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