Australia’s David Warner exits Test cricket this week as one of the best openers the world has known, but his exploits will forever be overshadowed by the role he played in the notorious ball-tampering scandal of 2018.
The polarising 37-year-old Australian will pad up for an emotional farewell at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the third Test against Pakistan after a career that began when he faced New Zealand at Brisbane in 2011.
In his 111 Tests, the left-hander has plundered 8,695 runs at an average of 44.58, with 26 centuries and 36 half-centuries.
A larger-than-life character, Warner also collected 89 catches as one of the most consistent slip fielders in the game.
“He is probably our greatest ever three-format player. He’ll be a loss,” Australian coach Andrew McDonald said on Saturday.
“Other people have been gunning for him for a period of time but for us, internally, we’ve seen the great value and what he brings to the table, hence why we’ve kept picking him.
“It can be hard to replace someone who is striking at 70, averaging 45, most ever runs as an Australian opener.”
But Warner, who plans to continue in white-ball cricket, has made enemies along the way, with former Australian quick bowler Mitchell Johnson letting rip ahead of the Pakistan series.
“Yes, he has a decent overall record and some say is one of our greatest opening bats,” he said.
“But his past three years in Test cricket have been ordinary, with a batting average closer to what a tail-ender would be happy with.
“It’s the ball-tampering disgrace in South Africa that many will never forget.”