Australia coach Justin Langer on Sunday likened seasoned opener David Warner to boxing great Floyd Mayweather. In the wake of the infamous ball-tampering scandal of 2018, then skipper Steve Smith and Warner, who was his deputy, were handed one-year bans.
“Look, I support him,” Langer told Channel Nine’s Sports Sunday. “Having David Warner in the team is like having Floyd Mayweather,” he added.
The American boxing legend who remained undefeated in his 50-bout professional career and owned 15 major world titles across five weight divisions.
Warner was identified as the instigator of the 2018 incident, which prompted a review of the win-at-all-costs mentality of Australia. The 33-year-old was slapped with a lifetime captaincy ban. Smith, though, is now eligible for a leadership role. The former Australia opener was appointed as head coach two months after the Cape Town episode.
“Officially, he’s been banned from captaining Australia again,” Langer said. “I don’t think he’ll be a captain of Australia again because of where we’re at, but I love having him in the team. He’s an absolute ripper,” he added.
Warner has enjoyed a terrific return since returning from the ban last year. The southpaw had a fine World Cup campaign followed by a sensational Australian Test summer, which included his career-best 335 not out. His redemption on the field kicked off with a solid Indian Premier League campaign for Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“I love him. He talks it up, he is a great player by any calculations and he’s been fantastic in the team over the last two years,” Langer said.