David Warner 'elated' and 'relieved' at first Australia hundred since ball-tampering scandal
"I think going through those tough times and sort of regrouping with myself put me in the best position to come back to international cricket"
Last Updated: 12/06/19 11:35pm
David Warner was "elated" and "relieved" after scoring his first ODI century for Australia since his ball-tampering ban elapsed.
Warner hit 107 in Australia's 41-run win over Pakistan in Wednesday's World Cup game at Taunton, the score adding to half-centuries he managed against Afghanistan and India earlier in the competition.
The 32-year-old missed a year of action for his country after being sanctioned for the part he played in the plot to alter the condition of the ball in a Test match against South Africa in Cape Town in March 2018.
"To come out here, play the way I know I can play, was awesome. I was elated," said Warner after striking his 15th ODI ton and first since 2017. "Personally, it's a great thing. It obviously was a long time coming.
"It was a bit of relief in a way but I still think I left a lot out there - I'll probably hold [myself] responsible for the way we fell apart," added Warner, who saw Australia slump from 242-3 to 307 all out once he was dismissed.
"I was always coming back to international cricket, if selected. I'm just grateful for this opportunity and I'm just really looking forward to what's coming ahead of us in the World Cup. I'm pumped to be back."
Warner also paid tribute to his wife Candice for keeping him driven in the immediate aftermath of his ball-tampering ban, a punishment that left him wondering whether he would ever play for Australia again.
"The thing that kept me going was with my wife and my kids. My wife is just my rock. She's unbelievable. She's determined, disciplined, selfless. She's a strong woman," said the left-hander.
"The boos? We don't really hear that when we are out there. We're out there to do a job. Look, it's water off a duck's back, I get it all the time, I've had it my whole career."
David Warner on being booed by fans
"She got me out of bed a lot in those first 12 weeks, got me back running and training and prepared for the other formats of the game that I was playing. She really nailed that into me.
"[Possibly never playing again for Australia] was always going through my mind and 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 and grade cricket I was playing in.
"I did everything I could. I really, really knuckled down and worked my backside off. I think going through those tough times and sort of regrouping with myself put me in the best position to come back to international cricket."
Australia's win was their third in four games - Aaron Finch's side beating Afghanistan and West Indies before losing to India - and they now sit behind league leaders New Zealand only on net run-rate.
The defending champions, eyeing a sixth World Cup title, were made to work for victory against a spirited Pakistan.
Australia tumbled from 146-0 to be bowled out in 49 overs - Mohammad Amir taking his first ODI five-wicket haul - and then saw Pakistan reach 136-2 and 264-7 before being dismissed for 266.
"If you take a positive in this match, definitely Mohammad (Amir) bowled really well and after that Wahab Riaz played really well," said Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who scored 40 and shared stands of 40 and 64 respectively with Hassan Ali (32) and Wahab (45) after his team had slipped to 160-6.
"But definitely I think our fielding is not up to the mark. We work together again, and we work hard before the India match."
You can watch every match of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup on Sky Sports Cricket World Cup (channel 404), including Australia vs Sri Lanka from 10am on Saturday and India vs Pakistan from 10am on Sunday.