Aussie bowlers fume over ‘false’ Warner feud
The angry Australian bowling unit has refuted "disappointing" allegations they threatened to boycott the final Test in South Africa last year if David Warner played.
As year-long playing bans for Warner and Steve Smith came to an end last week, reports alleged the bowlers, including Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood didn't want to play alongside Warner.
In a now infamous press-conference after play on day three in the Cape Town test, Smith said the "leadership group" was involved in a decision to tamper with the ball.
Hazlewood and Starc were both in the leadership group, and emphatically denied any knowledge of the plan, which a Cricket Australia investigation found was orchestrated by Warner, and carried out by Cameron Bancroft.
Warner, Smith and Bancroft were all banned by CA before the start of the fourth Test in Johannesburg and in a statement released today on behalf of the bowlers denied any threats to not play.
"We are extremely disappointed in an article which was first published across Fairfax platforms on March 29, 2019," the statement said.
"The article claims we intended to withdraw from the fourth Test during last year's tour of South Africa had David Warner been free to play.
"This claim is disappointing on a number of fronts but most importantly because it is false.
"False claims circulated in the media, such as these, which question our relationship with David are inflammatory and misleading."
Warner and Smith have had mediation sessions with Australian players, and met with the one-day team in Dubai earlier this month as part of their reintegration in to the side.
It's expected both will be named in the World Cup squad, and be part of the team's camp and warm-up games in Brisbane in May.
On Thursday, the day before the bans expired, CA boss Kevin Roberts conceded that while he had been impressed with the attitude of Smith and warner, there was never a guarantee that everyone in the team would get along.
"What we're focused on is doing everything we can to support Dave, Steve, Cameron and all the other players in support staff with this reintegration to build harmony rather than to disrupt the harmony that is building," Roberts said at the Melbourne Press Club.
"At the same time, let's be open about it. At any workplace you don't have to be best mates with everyone you work with.
"There needs to be a foundation of respect, absolutely. I think there's growing respect there and we'll continue to support players, with the right discussions, and work those through to continue building respect in those relationships.