Michael Clarke has criticized and accused Cricket Australia of having inconsistent standards for their messy investigation into David Warner’s captaincy ban.

The South African sandpaper scandal of 2018 involved David Warner, Steve Smith, and Cameron Bancroft, but only Smith was subject to a lifetime leadership suspension as a result of it.

Smith will captain Australia against the West Indies in the second Test on Thursday due to Pat Cummins’ injury.

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David Warner (Image Credits: Twitter)
David Warner (Image Credits: Twitter)

David Warner attempted to have his suspension overturned but gave up this week, claiming that he didn’t want to turn his family into “the washing machine for cricket’s dirty laundry.” Warner had requested that his ban be lifted.

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If It’s Ok For The Other Two, It Must Be Ok For David Warner: Michael Clarke

The 36-year-old opening batsman’s hearing before the independent review panel was created with the intention of turning it into “a public lynching,” according to reports. David Warner’s former teammate, Clarke, criticized Cricket Australia’s inconsistent approach in support of Warner.

“You can tell he’s disappointed and frustrated,” Clarke said on Big Sports Breakfast.  

“I think the other thing that probably hurts a little bit more is the fact Steve Smith is going to captain this Test match. I can understand Davey’s disappointment. In regards to where Davey is with his age, he’s unfortunately missed out on the captaincy opportunity in my opinion. 

Pat Cummins, David Warner
Pat Cummins, David Warner. (Photo: Twitter)

“I don’t think that’s the concern, it’s the fact it’s taken so long to process this or to get to where it’s at. I see it as very inconsistent. I find it very hard to believe it’s okay for one but not okay for the other to have a leadership role. 

“If CA decided all the guys involved in what went down in South Africa, none of them were going to play a leadership role, I think that’s a fair call. But if it’s okay for one, if it’s okay for Smithy, it’s got to be ok for (Cameron) Bancroft and it’s got to be okay for Warner. 

“I don’t know if it’s fair to make David Warner the complete scapegoat and say everyone else can go back to normal. We’ll forgive you but we won’t forgive Davey.” 

There’s So Much Around How Sandpaper Problem Was Handled: Michael Clarke

Clarke admitted that he wasn’t totally in favor of any one of the three assuming the role of leader. The former Australian captain claimed that the sandpaper issue would still affect the players from the terrible series.

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“There’s so much around how that was handled that was just not the right way,” Clarke said. 

Cameron Bancroft, Tim Paine, Cricket Australia, Cameron Bancroft
Cameron Bancroft [Image-Getty]

“Starting from doing the crime – let’s start there. How does it go away, don’t say anything. (Former South African captain) Faf du Plessis just wrote a book and it’s in his book. The fact that there’s (only) bits and pieces of what went down is out there to protect so many people is the problem with all of this. 

“If they want to make it public, the whole lot should be made public from start to finish. If it keeps coming up how do you move on? How does cricket move on? 

“Unfortunately for this Australian team, a lot of players that were involved then are involved now. So really it seems that until they retire this is just going to keep coming up because there’s so many questions around what went down.” 

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