Cricket Australia refuses to apologize for botched handling of Warner’s lead ban: ‘Not the result we wanted’

Defiant Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley insists he can keep players on the side while refusing to apologize for handing over the botched review of David Warner’s leadership ban.

Hockley has come under fire following Warner’s decision to withdraw his request to have his ban lifted, with questions raised about how CA lost control of the process.

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Concerns include that CA supported Warner’s request that the hearing be held in camera, only for an independent panel to reject the motion.

The situation reached a boiling point on Friday when former Test opener Simon Katich claimed Hockley’s job should be under scrutiny, pushing players’ union boss Todd Greenberg as a potential replacement.

Nick Hockley says Cricket Australia acted appropriately on David Warner leadership review Recognition: AAP

Before Katich’s call, Greenberg said players were also frustrated with the situation and that the review of Warner’s ban had lingered into the summer of testing.

But Hockley was adamant his relationship with the players could survive amid the excitement of the last remaining sanction of the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

“I think I’ve developed a really strong relationship with David and a strong relationship with other players throughout my time in the role,” he said.

“Ultimately, they have to describe how it makes them feel. But we tried to communicate very regularly, to be open, transparent and fair.

“I am disappointed that David has decided to retire. This is not the result we wanted.”

Mark Waugh is another former CA critical player who said the situation is similar to how the Tim Paine and Justin Langer sagas were handled.

But when asked about Katich’s comments on his own role as head of CA, Hockley defended the way his organization had handled the Warner affair.

“People can have their own opinion. The alternative to having an appropriate process in place is to only make reactive decisions,” Hockley said.

“That’s not appropriate in terms of integrity.

David Warner and his wife Candice Warmer pose for a photo with their daughters during a training session with Australia cricket team in 2021. Recognition: JOEL CARRETT/AAPIPICTURE
David Warner and wife Candice Warner in 2021. Recognition: mike owen/Getty Images

“I make no apologies that we have dealt with the best people we have in governance and we are conducting a due, fair and independent process.”

Hockley also insisted that Warner would not have been publicly lynched, as the opening speaker had suggested, if he proceeded with the hearing.

And he claimed it was correct that CA did not set strict parameters for conducting the hearing when rewriting the code, given the panel’s desire for transparency given the high level of public interest.

“Because independence and transparency are best practice,” he said.

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James Brien

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