david warner
David Warner (AFP Photo)

David Warner and Steve Smith faced each other on a cricket field for the first time since the duo was banned for 12 months each for their involvement in ball-tampering scandal in South Africa earlier this year.

While Warner scored 13 before being dismissed by former Australia captain Steve Waugh’s son, Smith struck 48 apart from claiming a wicket and a catch. In front of a packed Coogee Oval in Sydney, the pair was seen chatting and sharing jokes, dismissing rumours of any animosity between them in the aftermath of the ball-tampering incident.

In the light of culture review, the Australian Cricketers’ Association has demanded a reduction in their bans with Cricket Australia giving due consideration to the proposal.

However, Warner isn’t entertaining any thoughts of potential reduction of ban saying he’s mentally prepared to serve 12 months. “At the end of the day I’m sitting here 12 months on the sideline, that’s my take on it,” he was quoted as saying by Cricket.com.au on Saturday. “The end result and the long-form goal is to get back in the Baggy Green and play the World Cup (next year). But it’s a game at a time.”

Warner is ‘ashamed’ of the events that took place in the Cape Town Test in March and said the aim now is to make the Australian public fall back in love with the game. “What happened (in Cape Town) was very disappointing, we are ashamed of what happened. But we’re here to try and promote cricket and it’s a fun game and we’re trying to get Australians back loving it. That’s the hardest thing with the (Australia) team at the moment, but they had a tough win last night. To be positive and try and pump the boys up is the most important thing from where we sit right now,” he said.

He added, “They’re training their backsides off to win games. If we can be a bit more positive in what we do, it will help them go a long away.”

Warner laughed off suggestions of any feud with Smith. “There has been a lot of media talk that we don’t get along, that I’ve thrown him under the bus. It’s good comedy for us, we enjoy it. We’re catching up with each other and texting each other. We don’t read it all but some of the fun stuff the boys throw towards us. It’s great to have everyone here supporting us and cricket in general,” Warner explained.