Baby tragedy changed Warner’s world
David Warner went through hell in South Africa last year but it wasn't long before cricket became the least of his concerns.
Shortly after arriving home from the tour that saw him suspended for 12 months, Warner's wife Candice suffered a miscarriage - a miscarriage she said was the result of the stress and abuse she and the cricketer copped amid the ball tampering scandal.
The public learned about the shocking development when the former Ironwoman opened up about it in an interview with Australian Woman's Weekly and after the Aussies' win over England at the World Cup this week, Warner revealed the pair "had two miscarriages" during his enforced lay-off.
But 15 months on, life has changed considerably for the Warners. David is back wearing green and gold, scoring runs almost obsessively after fearing he'd never represent his country again, and Candice is just a few days away from giving birth to the couple's third child.
A day after facing Kiwi star Trent Boult's outswingers at Lord's this Saturday, the only delivery that will matter to Warner will be in the maternity ward of an English hospital, where daughter No. 3 will arrive.
Speaking about the tough times during his ban, Warner replied "definitely" when asked if what his family had been through off the field has given him a different perspective on life. He gave the same answer when it was put to him the position he finds himself in now - scoring runs at a World Cup and expecting a new bundle of joy - compared to the professional and personal devastation of last year, helped show him how quickly life can turn.
"It was unfortunate we had two miscarriages during that time and we would have had one (baby) before this but that's just what happens and I'm looking forward to obviously the baby coming out and then still concentrating on cricket," Warner said.
"We're just grateful to have two healthy little girls at the moment and hopefully that third one on Sunday so I'm really anticipating it."
After scoring a century against Pakistan in Taunton, Warner paid tribute to his "rock" Candice, saying she was responsible for dragging him through the other side of his year in cricket limbo. Warner's mind is on his family right now, but even with a baby on the way, his better half is still making sure cricket in his top priority.
She doesn't want anything to get in the way of her husband's pursuit of a second straight World Cup win and once the bub is born, Warner is adamant his full focus will be on winning silverware.
"I'm very excited, I can't wait (for the birth)," Warner told reporters. "I think it's a bit of a relief for the wife actually. It's been a long time obviously. Last couple of days have been a bit tiring for her but we're excited as a family.
"I just love being a father. I've got a great, supportive wife, a great family base at home as well. We've got great support around us, the guys here have been fantastic, they've really got around me at this important time for my family.
"But my wife, as selfless as she is, cricket's the priority and winning games for Australia and that's what we're trying to do."
'IT'S NOT ABOUT CHANGING OPINIONS'
It's fair to say Warner didn't know what he had until it was gone. Banned from international and Australian domestic cricket for a year after the ball tampering scandal, the left-hander found himself in the humble surrounds of Sydney club cricket last summer, piling on runs for Randwick Petersham.
He learnt plenty from his time in exile. Cricket took on a different meaning and although Warner won't go so far as to say he's a different person now than he was in March 2018, clearly his appreciation for the privileged position he's in has deepened.
Told he looks happier and more relaxed now, Warner laughed, saying: "Was I not happy before?
"For me it is about enjoying the game. When it is taken away from you, you realise what it is all about.
"Going back to grassroots was fantastic. I really saw smiles on people's faces to be out there on a Saturday afternoon - all the volunteers that come down and put time and effort, whether it is making the drinks, making the lunches, people's parents, my mum, my dad coming down. It is just great.
"You can't take that for granted. I am just grateful for the second opportunity to come back here and represent my country and do the country proud.
"I am just excited to be back here and playing World Cup cricket for Australia."
In an emotional press conference in Sydney last year, Warner pledged to win back the respect of cricket lovers and the Australian public. He's certainly doing his best to achieve that by showing a bloody-minded resolve to bat and bat and bat in England.
He's the only player with 500 runs to his name for the tournament and while Aussie supporters have lapped his performances up, it hasn't been such pleasant viewing for the rest of the world as the 32-year-old has received his fair share of booing at the World Cup.
But the hate is only fuelling Warner's resolve. He doesn't care England captain Eoin Morgan refused to tell fans to stop booing him, and maintains his comeback isn't about changing the opinions of his critics because the only thing that matters right now is winning.
"I don't know what he (Morgan) said, but at end of the day people have the right to come in here, they pay their dollars and if they want to boo us they can," Warner said.
"As I said before, I thrive on that stuff, I love it. At the end of the day you have to smile and as I said they pay their money to come and watch us and we are grateful for them to come and sit down and watch us. We try and put on a good show for everyone.
"I always just smile, I take my glasses off and look everyone in the eye and just smile. That is what this is about, I am living the dream, I am out here at Lord's, playing cricket for my country.
"I don't think it's about changing opinions. It is about going out there and doing what I have to do and that's to score runs. It is great for us and the team if we get off to a good start.
"People can keep booing you and doing what they want but scoring runs for us as a team to get off to a good start (is what matters most)."