David Warner has denied having a beef with Steve Smith after making a poor return to competitive cricket by scoring only one run in his first match after the ball-tampering scandal.
The disgraced Australia cricketer, whose last game came against South Africa at Newlands in March, played for Winnipeg Hawks in Canada’s Global T20 league while serving a 12-month international and domestic first-class ban for ball-tampering.
Warner was dismissed for one after facing just two balls when opening the batting in his side’s 46-run win against Montreal Tigers on Friday.
Warner nudged Peter Siddle for a single before he was dismissed on the first ball of the second over by Lasith Malinga.
He did, however, produce something spectacular by taking a fine catch, chasing back from mid-off to dismiss opener Dwayne Smith for a second-ball duck.
Despite the imperfect start, Warner was delighted to be back playing the game.
‘Get more than one run,’ Warner joked when asked about his return.
‘Good to be back out in the field with a smile on my face. These tournaments are exciting, just like the IPL or the Big Bash League. I’m grateful for this opportunity.
‘Being at home for the last 12 weeks was great for me, it was great for my mind. What happened [in South Africa] was really, really tough but we’re responsible for that and we’re moving on. To get back out here and play cricket, it’s really good for us mentally.
‘It definitely has been tough, not just for me but for my family, obviously, the fans out there that support cricket and Australian cricket, so I’m responsible for that, that’s my fault and why I’ve had some tough times,’ he added.
‘I’ll move forward and keep continuing to move forward and making sure I’m doing the right things at the right times to keep playing the best cricket I can.’
Warner also addressed the rumours regarding a rift between him and Steve Smith, who was also slapped with a 12-month ban for ball-tampering.
Smith managed to hit 61 on his return to competitive cricket while playing for the Toronto Knights.
‘Steve and me are good mates. If people hang in the hotel, they’ll see us hanging out with each other and stuff. At the end of the day, it was a big thing that happened and for us, you’ve got to handle it in your individual way and then how you handle it collectively.
‘We haven’t really been able to catch up because he’s been away. Cameron’s been in Perth and I’ve been doing what I’m doing and got family at home. So it’s been hard, but this has been good, we’ve had numerous chats and I’m sure we’ll hang out plenty more, we’re in the same hotel.’
Warner and Smith will face off in the seventh game of the competition at 1am (AEST) on 3 July.
Photo: Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images