ICC Men's ODI World Cup 2019
'Relieved' Warner reveals he feared the end
Fresh from his match-winning century against Pakistan, the Australia opener credits his wife for helping him through a difficult period when out of the game
Louis Cameron at The County Ground, Taunton
13 June 2019, 08:05 AM AEST
David Warner admitted there were times when he feared he may never play international cricket again, crediting his wife Candice as his biggest motivation during his year-long ban.
The 32-year-old spoke to reporters for the first since time since returning to the national side after scoring an emotionally-charged century to fire Australia to victory in their World Cup clash with Pakistan on Wednesday.
Warner put his impassioned celebration upon reaching triple-figures on Wednesday down to a mixture of relief and joy, with his 107 on a spicy Taunton pitch under grey skies proving decisive in Australia's 41-run win.
While the knock was a "long time coming" by his own admission, Warner stressed his disappointment that he hadn't scored even more runs. Australia crumbled after his exit, losing 7-65 in a startling collapse.
"To come out here play the way I know I can play was awesome," said Warner. "I was elated. It was a bit of relief in a way, but I still think I left a lot (of runs) out there.
"Seventy balls to go (when he was dismissed) and with the weather, trying to build partnerships again - I probably hold myself responsible for the way we fell apart there."
Barred from playing for international cricket as well all Australian domestic cricket for a full year, Warner was forced to ply his trade in overseas T20 leagues in Canada, the Caribbean and Bangladesh as well in club cricket in Darwin and Sydney.
It was a significant adjustment for Warner, who burst onto the international scene over a decade ago and was the national vice-captain when the Cape Town scandal erupted.
But the opener, whose sanctions preclude him from ever holding a leadership role with the national side again, said he used the fear of potentially not playing for Australia again as fuel.
"There was always that going through my mind," Warner conceded.
"I think that's what drove me to keep being as fit as I can, keep scoring as many runs as I can in the T20 tournaments that I was playing in.
"That was a challenge in itself to get used to (club cricket). The different obscure fields that were being set because the wickets are a tad slower - I really enjoyed all that. It was really, really hard work.
"And I think going through those tough times and sort of regrouping with myself to put myself in the best position to come back to international cricket, I did everything I could.
"I really, really knuckled down and trained my backside off.
"I'm just grateful for this opportunity and I'm just really looking forward to what's coming ahead of us here in the World Cup."
While he said he never assumed he’d be an automatic pick once available again, Warner insisted he never deviated from his aim of returning to the national side, explaining how his wife, a former professional ironwoman, was his driving force.
"I was always coming back to international cricket – if selected," he said.
"The thing that kept me going was my wife and my kids. I've got great support at home, my family. And my wife – she's just my rock. She's unbelievable. She's determined, disciplined, selfless.
"I hold a lot of credit for her. She's a strong woman. And she got me out of bed a lot in those sort of first sort of 12 weeks, and got me back running and training hard as I could.
"It was just (about) maintaining my level of fitness and just hard work. And she really nailed that into me."
2019 World Cup
Australia's squad: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Adam Zampa
June 12: Australia beat Pakistan by 41 runs
June 15: Sri Lanka v Australia, The Oval
June 20: Australia v Bangladesh, Trent Bridge
June 25: England v Australia, Lord's
July 9: Semi-Final 1, Old Trafford
July 11: Semi-Final 2, Edgbaston
July 14: Final, Lord's
Sync Australia's World Cup schedule to your calendar HERE
For a full list of all World Cup fixtures, click HERE