‘Getting cricket taken away, it really, really hurt’: Warner breaks down during award acceptance speech - WATCH
David Warner broke down on Monday while accepting the Allan Border Medal for being the Australian cricketer of the year award. In his speech, an emotional Warner reflected back on the sandpaper incident that forced him into a 12-month ban, and said that the time off the field hurt him. “I know I’ve let you guys down in the past. It’s just been remarkable to come back. With the World Cup, to not go the whole way was disappointing. The Ashes, retaining that was fantastic - I obviously didn’t turn up and I apologise for that - but I really had the hunger and determination to come back and do the best for our team,” the left-hander said in his speech.
He further added that returning to cricket brought a smile to his face. “To come back and have a summer like that and just contribute, it really put a smile on my face - and I hope it did for you guys as well.”
Warner further added that being away from cricket was a challenging time for him. “Having three daughters at home, looking up to guys like (Steve Smith) ‘Smithy’, (Pat Cummins) ‘Cummo’ - playing cricket in the backyard they’re yelling out Virat Kohli’s name - but these are the smiles on kids’ faces that we put on. To go back there and be able to be reintegrated into grassroots, go back to grade cricket, put a smile on people’s faces that way - it really helped me get to where I am today,” he said.
“Without that, getting cricket taken away from you - something I’ve always dreamt of - it really, really hurt,” he further added.
Fighting to control his tears, Warner credited his wife Candice for bringing out the best in him. “My wife ... f***... as I said before, my rock. You’re absolutely amazing. I don’t know what can ever break you. You’re absolutely fantastic. You’re an inspiration, not just to me but to the girls. It’s hard for a man to stand up here and say a lot of nice words about people, but you always seem to bring the best out of me and the kindness of my heart. I can’t thank you enough for what you do for me and our family. I love you dearly.”