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Watson slams CA, says Warner's leadership ban should be lifted so that he can be made T20I skipper

Melbourne, Nov 7 (IANS) Former Australian allrounder and one of the main critics of Cricket Australia’s (CA) continued indecisiveness to reinstate David Warner’s leadership role, Shane Watson has upped the demand for the top-order batting stalwart to be made the country’s T20 skipper in the wake of the team’s dismal performance in the T20 World Cup at home under Aaron Finch.

Australia’s campaign in the T20 World Cup at home ended prematurely on account of their lacklustre performances and some questionable selection decisions, with New Zealand and England moving into the last-four from Group 1 of the Super 12 stage.

With experts demanding a thorough review of Australia’s debacle, Watson said it’s high time CA lift the leadership role ban on Warner and replace Finch with the batting stalwart.

“I’ve had an opinion on who should have been the short-term T20 World Cup captain for a while, and that’s David Warner,” Watson was quoted as saying by news.com.au.

“But that seems to have been caught up in the bureaucracy of Australian cricket because of a couple of lines of a code of conduct legal document. How hard is it to change one or two lines in a legal document to make sure that someone who has paid for his mistakes and then some (can captain the side)?

Warner was the most heavily punished of the three players involved in the 2018 ball-tampering incident against South Africa in Cape Town — alongside then skipper Steven Smith and Cameron Bancroft.

The left-handed batter was prevented from holding any leadership position in Australian cricket for the rest of his career. However, there is growing sentiment that the decision needs to be overturned to allow Warner to captain in the BBL and the country’s T20 side.

With Finch’s future as T20I captain in doubt because of his poor form, the 35-year-old will play in the upcoming Big Bash League (BBL) before he takes a call on his T20 future. While Warner is a year older than Finch, the big-hitting opener will likely still be around for the next T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the United States in 2024, where his experience and aggressive approach will come in handy if he is allowed to lead.

“The code of conduct documents can be changed by someone in two seconds. For me, David Warner is an excellent decision maker under pressure. Tactically, he’s very good, he’s a very good leader and he’s very experienced as well. I’m just disappointed that for his sake he hasn’t had an opportunity to lead the Aussies because he’s a very good leader.

“Obviously, it’s not a long-term solution, but another T20 World Cup is coming up in a few years and Dave is still going to be performing very well because he’s still one of the best T20 batters in the world,” added Watson.

–IANS

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