Australian bowlers Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood had dismissed reports that they would have withdrawn from last year’s fourth and final Test against South Africa, had vice-captain David Warner been allowed to play.
Warner, captain Steven Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft were ultimately not allowed to play in the match, after being found guilty of ball-tampering during the third Test. They were later banned from international cricket for lengthy periods, all of which have since ended.
‘We are extremely disappointed in an article which was first published across Fairfax platforms,’ read a statement from Cricket Australia, released on behalf of the players.
‘The article claims we intended to withdraw from the fourth Test during last year’s tour of South Africa had David Warner been free to play.
‘This claim is disappointing on a number of fronts but most importantly because it is false.
‘False claims circulated in the media, such as these, which question our relationship with David are inflammatory and misleading.
Cummins, Lyon, Starc, Hazlewood, Warner, Smith and Bancroft are in contention for Australia’s squads for the World Cup and the Ashes series in the United Kingdom later this year.
‘As a team we are all focused on moving forward together and helping the Australian men’s team prepare for the World Cup and the Ashes,’ concluded the statement.
Photo: Gallo Images