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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

Door not shut on David Warner, says Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland

Deposed vice-captain Warner was identified as mastermind behind ball-tampering scandal plan during cricket Test in South Africa this year

David Warner had conceded he may never be able to play for Australia again. Brendon Thorne / Getty Images
David Warner had conceded he may never be able to play for Australia again. Brendon Thorne / Getty Images

Disgraced David Warner still has a future in Australian cricket, the sport's chief executive James Sutherland said, handing the explosive opener a lifeline after a cheating scandal.

Warner was identified as the mastermind behind the plan to use sandpaper to tamper with the ball during the third Test in South Africa this year that shocked the sport.

While former captain Steve Smith was charged with knowledge of the plot, Warner was charged with developing it and instructing Cameron Bancroft to carry it out.

Smith and then vice-captain Warner were banned for 12 months while Bancroft was exiled for nine months.

All three held emotional news conferences to apologise, with public sympathy for a contrite Smith and Bancroft.

Warner, who was also banned from ever holding a leadership role again in Australian cricket, conceded he was "resigned to the fact" he may never play for his country again.

But Sutherland said the door remained open.

"I think everyone deserves their chance and their own personal redemption story is very much in their own hands now," he told Melbourne radio station SEN late on Tuesday.

"Each of them have to go about that during the time they're out of the game and prove that they're worthy [and] prove to the Australian selectors that they should want them back.

"They deserve that opportunity."

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Our ball-tampering scandal coverage

Darren Lehmann steps down as head coach of Australian cricket team

Tearful captain Steve Smith apologises for 'big mistake' after suspension

Banned Aussie cricketer Cameron Bancroft: 'I have let many people down'

Comment: Win-at-all-costs mentality driven by too much player power

Sample also Sports Editor Graham Caygill's solution for swift justice

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James Sutherland of Cricket Australia says the sanctions are designed to help wrongdoers make a comeback. Gulshan Khan / AFP
James Sutherland of Cricket Australia says the sanctions are designed to help wrongdoers make a comeback. Gulshan Khan / AFP

Sutherland added that he felt for the players, whose reputations have been trashed.

"I feel forgiveness for all of them. I feel sympathy for them and I want to see them all come back and play their best cricket. I believe they all can," he said.

"Part of the design within the sanctions was to allow them to stay connected with the game.

"I also see part of our role is to support them with their state associations and their clubs, to help them stay hungry and come back and play their best cricket."

Cricket Australia on Tuesday appointed an ethics guru to review the sport's culture in the wake of the scandal to ensure there is never a repeat.

It will run in tandem with a separate probe announced last month into player behaviour.

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