• Smith: Warner needs Australia more than they need him

    Former Proteas captain Graeme Smith has offered some insight into why Australian batsman David Warner divides opinion across world cricket.

    Warner was banned from international cricket for being involved in the ball-tampering saga that marred Australia’s Test tour of South Africa last year.

    The suspension ended earlier this year – and he is currently playing in the Indian Premier League. He is a popular figure for the Sunrisers Hyderabad – and is in contention for Australia’s World Cup and Ashes series campaigns later this year.

    ‘I think where David has been throughout his career is that he’s pissed a lot of people off. He’s just that type of guy. I think he does a lot of unnecessary things on a cricket field. I’m all for playing the game hard and competitive – that was who I am,’ Smith told The Back Page.

    ‘But I just think sometimes you look at him and you go, you know, “Where are you going with this? Is it necessary?” I think at the moment he needs Australian cricket more than they need him.

    ‘I think he’s very driven, I think he wants to do well, he wants to prove his worth again. And I think Warner in that position is probably a good guy to have in your environment.

    ‘It’s when he starts to get bigger than everybody else then probably management needs to be ready for that. Guys likes coach Justin Langer and whoever is captaining the side need to ensure they stay on top of that and manage that space and that ego well going forward.’

    The left-handed Warner is the highest run-scorer among non-Indian players in the 12-year history of the IPL, with 4363 in 120 innings, including four centuries and 39 half-tons.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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