David Warner and Steve Smith embrace at the end of their teams'  Sydney Grade Cricket clash on Saturday. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
David Warner and Steve Smith embrace at the end of their teams' Sydney Grade Cricket clash on Saturday. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Warner: time to move on from suspension debate

DAVID Warner has pleaded for everyone to stop squabbling over whether he, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft should have their suspensions reduced so they can get back into the struggling Australian team.

As much as Warner would love to be playing for his country, the explosive opener said on Saturday that the debate over whether their lengthy bans should be reduced was undermining the current team.

Warner said he had accepted the idea that he would have to serve the full ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March.

"At the end of the day I'm sitting here 12 months on the sideline," Warner said after his highly anticipated grade match against Smith at Coogee Oval.

"That's my take on it and that's why I want everyone to keep being positive about the guys who are playing (for Australia) and pump them up, because we can't just sit here and say they're going to be in, they're not going to be in."

Despite Warner's best intentions, the issue of whether the banned trio will make a quick return isn't going away after the Australian Cricketers Association initiated an appeal on their behalf.

Cricket Australia had previously rejected the notion of reducing the suspensions but in the wake of the damning Longstaff review and the high-profile exits from CA this week, nothing can be ruled out.

Warner fronted media after the Coogee Oval clash. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Warner fronted media after the Coogee Oval clash. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Warner also crushed speculation he had fallen out with Smith since the scandal.

"There's been a lot of media talk that we don't get along and that I've thrown him under the bus here and there, but it's good comedy for us because we just sit back and laugh," he said.

"We catch up with each other and text each other. We don't read it all but some of the fun stuff that the boys throw forward we just laugh at it."

Warner played a straight bat when asked by The Sunday Telegraph whether the players had been contacted by the ACA about the appeals, saying the players were leaving everything up to the union.

"What the ACA do is they are representatives for us and we thank them for their support," Warner said.

Warner struggled with the bat on Saturday. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Warner struggled with the bat on Saturday. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

"At the end of the day it's quite fickle with the union or the ACA and Cricket Australia. Mark Taylor came out and said what he said and we all agree on some terms with that but as players we're here to do a job and that's to play premier cricket and work our backsides off to make cricket a fun game."

Smith has not made any public comments since his teary conference after the ball-tampering scandal and maintained his vow of silence after his Sutherland team beat Warner's Randwick-Petersham club by three wickets.

The pair shook hands before and after the match and chatted several times on the field.

Warner said the two were in regular contact and loving the chance to play grade cricket, but never talked about when they should be back playing Australia.

"What happened was very disappointing, we put our hands up and we are ashamed of what happened but we're here to try and keep promoting cricket," he said.

"It's a fun game and we're trying to get Australians back loving it and that's the hardest thing with the team at the moment.

"Yeah we're losing a couple of games but they had a tough win last night and to be positive."

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