Warner’s manager claims ball tampering scandal in Australia can be traced back to the 2016 Hobart Test

David Warner’s manager claimed that Australian players, who were hiding in South Africa’s hands 16 months before the scandal broke, were encouraged to tamper with the ball.

Australia were crushed by an innings and 80 runs at Hobart in November 2016 after being knocked out by 85 points on their first innings.

James Erskine is back in the Hobart game after his client Warner was treated unfairly after his role in the Newlands sandpaper scandal in March 2018.

Opening batsman Warner was banned from elite cricket for one year and for life from leadership positions after he was deemed provocative in his plan to change the ball situation in Cape Town.

But Erskine says there’s more to the episode than has been revealed so far.

SEN told the radio network: “When the truth came out, everybody turned and said, ‘Well, why was David Warner chosen?’ he will say.

“The truth will come out. I’ll tell you. Someone will come out… there are a lot of people. There are two cricketers who raise their hands and say, ‘Why don’t we all tell the truth? They can’t shoot.’ All of us.’

“This is what happened. In the locker rooms in Hobart, two top management teams were scolding for losing to South Africa.

“Warner said we have to bounce the ball backwards and the only way we can bounce the ball backwards is basically to tamper with it. That’s why they were told to do that.”

Erskine did not accuse the managers of being responsible for giving permission to tackle the ball.

However, he stressed that the three players punished for the scandal – Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft – were not the only ones involved.

Erskine said: “You must be a blind black labrador, there were a lot more than three people involved in this thing, they were all given a can and David Warner was completely vilified.

“He closed the door, he protected Cricket Australia, he protected his fellow players on my advice, because at the end of the day no one wanted to hear any more and he started playing cricket.”

Cricket Australia has yet to comment on Erskine’s latest allegations.

Warner this week withdrew his appeal against a lifetime captaincy ban with Australia, saying he was not interested in a “public lynching” for his role in the debate.

The 36-year-old, who has returned to favor since his ban, was given the chance to appeal the decision after Cricket Australia’s code of conduct changed in November, but has now confirmed that he will not do so.

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