Henriques defends ‘selfless’ Warner over ball tampering
AUSTRALIAN allrounder Moises Henriques has leapt to the defence of David Warner, saying the opener was only trying to "selflessly" advantage the bowling unit when he hatched a plan to tamper with the ball.
Warner was axed as vice-captain and handed a 12-month ban after it was revealed he was the mastermind behind Australia's decision to ball tamper in South Africa last month.
Steve Smith was dumped as captain and also copped a 12-month ban, while Cameron Bancroft was suspended for nine months.
Australian cricket fans have been moved by the remorse displayed by Smith and Bancroft.
But fans haven't been as quick to forgive Warner, whose press conference produced more questions than answers.
Henriques is a teammate of Warner's at NSW, and he took to Twitter to defend his friend.
"Dave Warner was the player's most vocal voice during MOU (memorandum of understanding) negotiations, copping it from many," Henriques tweeted.
"Now, 'caught ball tampering' trying to selflessly advantage the fast bowling unit - not for his own stats or personal gain. Rightly punished... but he's a team man.
"My perspective is that there are people who break the rules for personal gain eg. Match fixing for personal financial gain, performance enhancing drugs.... or people who break the rules so others in their team can gain advantage. I'd sooner forgive the latter.
Henriques stressed that he doesn't condone ball tampering.
But he hopes his comments will encourage fans to adopt a more "empathetic" mindset about the scandal.
He said Warner, Smith, and Bancroft had been punished enough already. It remains to be seen whether Warner will represent his country again. If the international door has closed on him forever, Warner could become a Twenty20 gun for hire once his ban expires.