David Warner has received backing to be Australia’s next Twenty20 captain, with players’ union president Shane Watson hitting out at the prolonged process of reviewing the opener’s leadership ban.
Officials are likely to be forced into another captaincy call in coming months, once Australia begin to turn their eye to the 2024 T20 World Cup in the USA and Caribbean.
Aaron Finch is yet to make a call on his future after retiring from ODIs in September, but with Australia’s next T20 not until August 2023 he would be unlikely to represent again.
Warner has experience captaining Australia.
He led a T20 tri-series against New Zealand and England in early 2018, just a month before the ball-tampering saga that netted him a lifetime leadership ban.
That sanction is likely set to be soon reviewed, with Cricket Australia asking their head of integrity to propose a change to their code of conduct to allow for a review or previous bans.
“I’ve had an opinion on who should have been the short-term T20 World Cup captain for a while, and that’s David Warner,” Watson told reporters.
“But that seems to have been caught up in the bureaucracy of Australian cricket because of a couple of lines of a code of conduct legal document.
“For me, David Warner is an excellent decision-maker under pressure, tactually he’s very good, he’s a very good leader and he’s very experienced as well.
“I’m just disappointed that for his sake he hasn’t had an opportunity to lead the Aussies because he’s a very good leader.
“Obviously it’s not a long-term solution, but another T20 World Cup is coming up in a few years and Dave is still going to be performing very well.”
Conjecture over Warner’s leadership ban has lasted for the majority of this year, after Watson and other Australian Cricketers Association officials wrote to the CA board in February.
Warner himself has continually stated his desire to meet with CA over the matter, with the issue creating headlines again when the 36-year-old signed to return to the Big Bash League.
Cummins and Finch have also called for Warner’s ban to be lifted, before it was revealed that the change in code of conduct would be required for any review to take place.
CA’s board then moved for the door to be open for a review last month, when they asked head of integrity Jacqui Partridge to propose a change to code.
Those draft changes have been put to the board for approval, before any possible review of the ban is held by ethics commissioner Simon Longstaff.
“How hard is it to change one or two lines in a legal document to make sure that someone who has paid for his mistakes and then some (can captain the side)?” Watson said.
“The code of conduct documents can be changed by someone in two seconds.”