David Warner scored 93 for the City Cyclones.
David Warner scored 93 for the City Cyclones.

Warner makes statement in first weekend back in Aussie cricket

FORMER Australia vice-captain David Warner fell short of a century but made a bold form statement with an innings of 93 Sunday in Darwin's limited overs strike league.

Warner, suspended for 12 months from international and most domestic cricket in Australia for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa, took his runs from 139 balls in a restrained innings for the City Cyclones against the Desert Blaze.

A prospective meeting with his former Test opening partner Cameron Bancroft, suspended for nine months over the same incident in a Test in Cape Town last March, was avoided when Bancroft withdrew from the match with an injury.

Bancroft was struck in the throat by a rising delivery while making 62 for the Blaze in a match on Saturday. He spent the night in Darwin Hospital after scans showed a tear to his windpipe but was released Sunday and is expected to make a full recovery.

Warner scored his first 20 runs from 50 balls Sunday before hitting five fours and two sixes. He made 36 in a 50-overs match on Saturday which was his first appearance in Australia since his suspension was imposed in March.

Warner is banned from matches sanctioned by Cricket Australia but is free to play in independent leagues such as the Strike League. He played in a recent international Twenty20 league in Canada and will play in the Indian and Caribbean Premier Leagues before his possible return to the Australia team in March, 2019.

Warner is contracted to play in Darwin only for this weekend while Bancroft is due to remain for the full Strike League.

"If I didn't love it I wouldn't be here," Warner said. "I'd probably retire but I'm enjoying it. I love it and have still got plenty of fuel in the tank. "I'm excited about the next eight months to reflect upon what's happened, moving forward to be a better person."



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