I've been the only who copped a lot of flak: Warner on 2018 ball-tampering incident

North Sound (Antigua), Jun18 (IANS): As David Warner is set to retire from international cricket after the T20 World Cup, the Australian veteran opened up about the infamous 2018 ball-tampering fiasco and said that he has probably been the only one who's ever "copped a lot of flak".

The 2018 scandal saw Warner, alongside Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, receive significant bans from Cricket Australia.

Reflecting on the fallout from the infamous Cape Town incident, Warner admitted that the ball-tampering scandal continues to cast a shadow over his career. "Coming back since 2018 I've probably been the only one that's ever copped a lot of flak. Whether it's people who don't like the Australian cricket team or don't like me, I've always been that person who has copped it," Warner was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

"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 as well and I think understandably I've been that person to be able to absorb that. But one can only absorb so much. For me, it's great to go out knowing I'm not going to cop it anymore," he added.

Warner said the scandal will always be a part of his story and he hopes to be remembered for his transformative impact on the game.

"I think it's going to be inevitable that when people talk about me in 20 or 30 years' time, there will always be that sandpaper scandal. But for me, if they're real cricket tragics and they love cricket, as well as my closest supporters, they will always see me as that cricketer – someone who tried to change the game."

The opener, however, remains determined to help Australia achieve a historic feat of holding all three major men's ICC trophies as he bids to end his international career.

Warner, one of the few players to have been part of Australia's triumphs in the 2023 World Test Championship and the 2023 ODI World Cup, is now five games away from potentially adding the T20 World Cup trophy to his list of accolades.

If successful, Warner would cement his legacy in a way no cricketer has before, completing a trifecta of ICC trophies.

As Warner prepares for his final international tournament, he sees a poetic symmetry in concluding his career in the T20 format, the same format where he made a debut 15 years ago against South Africa at the MCG.

"I think it would be special, most definitely," Warner said ahead of a gruelling run of matches that will see Australia play five games in 10 days if they make the T20 World Cup final in Barbados on June 29.

"As a team you strive for as much success as you can and to do that would be a great accomplishment. It's not just for me, it's about the systems we've had in place, the way the coaches and selectors have structured the whole thing.

"It's been a process of 18-24 months and they've done a fantastic job to one, keep the guys on the park, but two, keep that core group together and I think it will be a fantastic fit for all of us."



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Title: I've been the only who copped a lot of flak: Warner on 2018 ball-tampering incident

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