David Warner will return to the pitch when he lines up for Randwick Petersham.
David Warner will return to the pitch when he lines up for Randwick Petersham.

Banned opener set for return to cricket

DISGRACED Australian opener David Warner will attempt to get his cricket career back on track by playing the start of the Sydney grade cricket season with Randwick Petersham.

Club president and ex-Test fast bowler Mike Whitney told the Southern Courier the batsman had committed to at least the first three of four matches for the club.

He will also be involved in pre-season training and helping with the club's youngsters.

"We're delighted to have him," Whitney said. "He's one of the best players Australia has had since World War Two.

"He's been speaking to one of our club officials and he has committed to the first three or four rounds of the season. Why it is only three or four rounds at this stage, I don't know." "Everyone is excited to have him. He will be great in the changing rooms with younger players."

Whitney had reached out to Warner last month after the 31-year-old's 12-month Cricket Australia ban for his role in the ball tampering fiasco in South Africa.

Warner has been on the books at Randwick Petersham since 2013/14 after joining from the neighbouring Eastern Suburbs club.

Warner will begin the long road to reclaiming his cricket career.
Warner will begin the long road to reclaiming his cricket career.

But he's rarely been sighted for the club due to state, international and Indian Premier League commitments.

The Cricket Australia ban extended to state matches, with the three players at the centre of the controversy - Warner, Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft - only able to ply their trade in grade cricket during the suspensions.

News of Warner's return to the pitch follows in the footsteps of fellow opener Cameron Bancroft being cleared to play for his club cricket side this year after the WA Premier Cricket league voted in favour of bending the rules.

Bancroft is serving a nine-month suspension from Cricket Australia for his role in the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

That CA ban ends in late December, at which point Bancroft will be free to play for WA and Australia again.


But under WA Premier Cricket rules, any CA ban automatically extended to WA club ranks, meaning Bancroft wasn't allowed to play for his local club Willetton while serving his CA suspension.

The 16 WACA clubs held an extraordinary meeting on Monday night to vote on whether to grant Bancroft special permission to play for Willetton while he served his CA ban.

Bancroft only needed a simple majority to be given the green light, and the clubs voted in favour.

WACA chief executive Christina Matthews said she wasn't allowed to reveal the exact vote, but said it was a strong majority.

The situation was different for Warner and Steve Smith who are both free to play club cricket in NSW while serving out their 12-month CA suspensions.