Michael Clarke blasts ex-teammate David Warner for his bizarre whingeing about his role in one of cricket’s biggest cheating scandals

  • Michael Clarke has slammed David Warner’s victim mentality
  • Warner stated he is the ‘only one to cop flak’ after ‘Sandpapergate’
  • In 2018, Warner ordered Cameron Bancroft to scuff ball in Cape Town
  • Fallout was severe, Warner, Bancroft and Steve Smith all banned 

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has slammed David Warner after the retiring batsman insisted he was unfairly targeted in the Sandpapergate cheating scandal that rocked cricket.

Earlier this week, Warner conceded he will never able to escape his role in the sandpaper disgrace of 2018 during an away series against South Africa – but won’t miss what he perceives as constant criticism.

It followed Cameron Bancroft being caught on camera obeying Warner’s instructions to scuff the ball with sandpaper in Cape Town.

The subsequent backlash from Cricket Australia was severe – Warner and then-captain Steve Smith were suspended for one year, while Bancroft was banned for nine months.    

In addition, Warner was stripped of his leadership role for life, and Smith for two years.

Michael Clarke has slammed David Warner after the retiring batsman felt he was unfairly targeted following one of cricket’s biggest cheating scandals in Cape Town

Warner conceded he will never able to escape his role in the sandpaper scandal of 2018 during a series against South Africa - but won't miss what he perceives as constant criticism

Warner conceded he will never able to escape his role in the sandpaper scandal of 2018 during a series against South Africa – but won’t miss what he perceives as constant criticism

Warner – currently playing in the T20 World Cup for Australia – still feels he was the scapegoat for the incident which sent shockwaves through the sport.

The polarising star remains adamant he has been a target, stating: ‘I’ve probably been the only one that’s ever copped a lot of flak.’

His comments drew a stinging response from former teammate Clarke.

‘I understand where Davey is coming from, and I think part of what he said is fair enough,’ he told ESPN’s Around the Wicket.

‘[But] I just don’t think it’s fair to say he’s the only one who’s copped it.

‘I think Cameron Bancroft certainly copped it, and I think there’s still talk about the reason he’s not in the Australian Test team because of what happened years ago.

‘Steve Smith obviously copped it and lost the Australian captaincy.

‘Davey has certainly copped it, there’s no doubt about it, but I just think the timing of his comments [middle of the T20 World Cup] is probably not right.’

David Warner and Michael Clarke at the crease together in a Test match against England

David Warner and Michael Clarke at the crease together in a Test match against England

Warner is determined to end his international career with Australia on a high, with the T20 World Cup trophy in his sights.

He is also aware no matter his batting average, some fans with long memories will always turn their back on him. 

‘It’s fine if they want to do that, but I always feel like I’ve taken a lot of pressure off a lot of guys,’ he said.

‘But one can only absorb so much. For me, it’s great to go out knowing I’m not going to cop it [criticism] anymore.

‘As a cricketer, I was someone who tried to change the game….I always looked to score runs at a great tempo, no matter the format.’

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk