Warner's ban 'fundamentally wrong': Smith

December 11, 2022 06:44 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Steve Smith says David Warner's lifetime leadership ban is "fundamentally wrong", conceding the ongoing saga has been a distraction for the opener.

Warner's withdrawn bid to have his ban lifted at times turned the Adelaide Test into a sideshow, before Australia wrapped up a 419-run win over the West Indies on Sunday.

Warner has now given up any chance of one day returning to a captaincy position, after furiously taking back his application for the ban to be reviewed after an independent panel pushed for a public hearing.

Smith and Warner both copped one-year suspensions from playing following the 2018 ball-tampering saga, with Smith also handed an extra 12-month ban from any leadership position.

But Warner was dealt with in a harsher manner, banned from leading for life and with no chance of any appeal once it was accepted before a change in the code of conduct last month.

"From my point of view, banning for life from leadership is just fundamentally wrong," Smith said. 

"David served his time like I did. 

"For us, we know he's a leader around the group, and on and off the field he's doing a tremendous job. 

"It's been a difficult one for him, it's been a difficult week. David has said he's done and dusted (with the appeal) and get on with it."

Smith's comments come after Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Todd Greenberg admitted players were annoyed about the drama lingering into the Test summer.

Asked if it had been a distraction for the team through the T20 World Cup and Frank Worrell Trophy, Smith said it was a bigger issue for the 36-year-old. 

"It has been more of a distraction for Davey, no doubt, going through that himself," Smith said.

"He's got our full support. Hopefully he can have a really big series for us against South Africa with the bat."

Warner desperately needs runs against the Proteas.

He made scores of five, 48, 21 and 21 against the West Indies, routinely getting out to balls wide outside off stump.

His Test century drought now extends to January 2020 and spans 25 innings.

The left-hander has previously indicated he wants to tour both India and England next year before retiring from Test cricket, but knows he needs runs to keep the pressure off.

Smith said he could see there were still runs in Warner.

"For me it's in his body language the way he goes out there .He's really positive and just in a good frame of mind," Smith said.

"Particularly yesterday when he went out to bat he was in a good frame of mind, the way his feet were moving was really sharp.

"He's batting well, so no real concerns there."


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