Qantas Tour of England - ODIs
Skipper Paine denies report of Warner rift
Test and ODI skipper says he would "absolutely" welcome David Warner back into team after ban is over
10 May 2018, 12:51 PM AEST
Captain Tim Paine says reports that some of his players have told Cricket Australia they no longer want to play with David Warner are "off the mark" and "really unfair" on the banned opener.
Paine says he would "absolutely" welcome Warner back into the Australian team once the left-hander's 12-month ban ends next year and denies that the 31-year-old is a divisive figure who has alienated some of his teammates.
Respected News Corp journalist Robert Craddock this week questioned whether Warner could fit back into a new-look team under the leadership of coach Justin Langer given "half the players can't stand him" and don't want him in the side.
"Langer wants mateship in the team and I don’t believe mateship and Warner are compatible," Craddock told SEN radio.
"Because half the players can't stand him, they contacted Cricket Australia saying they didn’t want to play with him again.
"Now, they should have no choice in that, it’s not their decision. But that’s the vibe.
"If (Langer) wants cultural shift, how do you have cultural shift and Warner in the same team? That’s my question."
Speaking on Thursday, Paine said the claims were untrue.
"I certainly like Crash Craddock's writing and when he's on TV I'm a fan of his," Paine said. "But I thought he was a little bit off the mark there and really unfair on David Warner as a person and as a cricketer.
"David is someone who's certainly highly competitive on the field and sometimes that can rub people and oppositions up the wrong way. But within our team he's someone with that energy and competitiveness that we love playing with.
"They were disappointing comments and it's not the way David is held within our team.
"There's a side of David that people don't know – he's very loyal and really caring and a good team man to have around."
The turbulent week following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa included reports that Warner had isolated himself from his teammates by removing himself from the team's WhatsApp group, while photos emerged of him sitting alone in the team's hotel.
But Paine denied that Warner was ostracised from the team during that week, adding he and his teammates have remained in touch with Warner since they returned to Australia.
"There was maybe a day or two there where guys were in and out of the investigation," he said.
"And when you come home, that's the way it is in Australia; we live all around the country. But I know the guys have kept in touch via texts or phone calls and that's something we've got to continue to work on.
"The week in South Africa was really difficult, everyone said that.
"But guys in that team get along well and David is a respected member of that team, he always has been. As long as I've been around the team he's been really well liked and really well received by his teammates."