The 2018 Australian ball-tampering affair in South Africa, or Sandpaper Gate as it has become known, isn't going away anytime soon. And with David Warner also seemingly at war with Cricket Australia over it, along with his wife throwing around cryptic accusations, could his presence in the 2023 Ashes squad against England have a negative impact on the Aussie dressing room?
David Warner has unloaded on Cricket Australia for the “traumatising” delay before his chance to overturn his Sandpaper-gate ban.
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) November 21, 2022
The left-handed batsman has had a controversial career. And at the age of 36, his time wearing the famous Baggy Green is drawing to a close.
Warner has again found himself at the center of attention this summer in Australia. And surely, behind the scenes the question of Warner’s presence has to now be a topic up for discussion.
On the surface, Warner gets on well with his teammates. You can clearly see it out on the field. But with Warner’s manager over the years claiming he’s been made the scapegoat for the ball-tampering affair, and now with his wife claiming no one has supported him, is a breakdown in trust between Warner and his teammates imminent?
Anybody involved in Australian cricket knows that Warner is a fighter. And it’s pretty clear that when the time comes, he will fight back and try to clear his name. And with talk of retirement having dominated the summer in Australia and now Warner signing a deal to become a Fox Sports commentator when he finishes playing, speculation about when he is likely to retire is only going to intensify.
Warner won’t go quietly
When Warner retires and is no longer on the payroll of Cricket Australia, he is likely to reveal all. There are players currently sharing the dressing room with Warner who will get caught up in the crossfire. And these players may well get taken down. So those players may already be looking over their shoulders, wondering what he’s going to say.
When all is going well, things shouldn’t be an issue. But what happens when the pressure is on Australia when they tour India for four Test matches starting in February?
— Sportskeeda (@Sportskeeda) December 8, 2022
And then again, when they tour England for five Tests in the English summer? If things start to go wrong for the Aussies, and relations get strained, might we see the whole tinderbox explode prematurely?
2023 Ashes Betting Odds
In the latest Ashes betting, the Aussies are still the favorites with the best online cricket betting sites. Most of the best cricket betting sites have Australia at +100 to win the series outright. The draw is +550. At the same time, the odds on England can vary.
|2023 Ashes Winner Betting|
BetUS is currently the site with the best cricket betting odds on Ben Stokes’ team to win. They make England +135 to win the series. But other sportsbooks have them as short as +110. You can read more about this bookmaker in our BetUS sportsbook review.
Reasons Australia can still win the Ashes
As we’ve already alluded to, Warner seems to get on well with his teammates. Even if it is the case that the opening batter will bring down his Australian bowling teammates when he reveals all, they might want to prolong Warner’s career for as long as they can.
Why? Because that way they get to prolong their own careers. So they may see keeping Warner on side for now as their best way of doing this.
The bowlers - whom we’re told knew nothing about the sandpaper plot - are likely to be the ones with the most to lose. Once any of those players are implicated, calls will be vocal about why they weren’t punished at the time. And the Cricket Australia investigation that found Warner guilty will be labeled as a whitewash.
So if the bowlers and Warner can remain harmonious, and at the moment, there’s no reason to suggest they can’t, then it might be the case that a happy Australian dressing room is good enough to beat England.
Afterall, most of these guys will know this is probably their last shot at winning an Ashes in England. So they won’t want to rock the boat. They will also believe that England’s Bazball style of play will give them a chance. And they will be quietly thinking they have the beating of England’s batters, especially if they’re going hell for leather.
What about England’s best chances?
England might have to temper their attacking instincts a touch in order to defeat Australia. The Aussie pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, and Josh Hazlewood will all fancy bowling in this England batting lineup.
If England is reckless, the Aussie trio will almost certainly be in business. The chances are that this is exactly the way Australia will be expecting England to play. So the best way could be to slightly reign in the attacking shots and still play with a positive mindset but in a less reckless way.
England’s hierarchy is probably happy (and insulted at the same time) to let the opponents think that they are just a crash, bang, wallop side. That they simply see the ball and hit the ball. England believes they are better than that. And against Australia, they will have the chance to prove it.
This far out, and with doubts about the fitness and availability of players on both sides, making predictions is difficult.
The Aussies are likely to get beat in India though. So if you think that they will win the Ashes, it might be worth waiting until the end of that series to bet on them, as the odds could well drift out on Pat Cummins’ team if they get hammered on the sub-continent.