Disgraced cricketer David Warner joins Nine’s commentary team

Banned test cricketer and former vice captain of the Australian team, David Warner, has been signed by Nine to join the commentary team for the upcoming second one-day international (ODI) against England on Saturday June 16.

Nine’s director of sport Tom Malone said the Australian public has tried to paint Warner as a villain throughout the ball-tampering scandal, but contended the embattled star “has been hurting as much as the others”.

Warner is a “pretty normal and humble bloke”, according to Nine

“We’ve had a professional relationship with Dave for five years now [and] we’ve always found him to be a pretty normal and humble bloke,” Nine’s Wide World of Sports quoted Malone as saying in the announcement.

“He just wants to atone for his mistakes and move on – I hope Australia gives all of them that chance.”

Nine’s Wide World of Sport publishing platform said Warner would be a welcome addition to the broadcaster’s line-up of experts.

“The batsman brings his expertise and insight developed over years of top-flight cricket to Nine’s broadcast team,” it said.

Malone agreed Warner’s pedigree was unrivalled.

“Dave is the best One Day and T20 batsman of the past decade, so he’s perfectly placed to join our coverage of the UK series,” he said.

Warner was banned from Australian cricket for 12 months for his role in the ball-tampering scandal alongside captain Steve Smith and bowler Cameron Bancroft.

The punishment means he cannot hold any leadership position in the team for the rest of his career, but does allow him to play in overseas domestic leagues and Australian Premier Cricket – senior inter-club or district cricket competitions in each of Australia’s states and territories.

After the media gig, Warner will head to Toronto for the inaugural T20 Canada, which will mark his return to professional cricket.

Nine recently lost the cricket rights to rival Seven and subscription television provider Foxtel, however had already signed a deal for the 2019 Ashes tour in the United Kingdom, along with the ODI and T20 series which are conducted on British soil.

The deal cost the new rights holders – Seven and Foxtel – close to $1bn over six years and has left a potential hole in Nine’s summer broadcasting schedule.

Seven begins broadcasting the cricket from next year, but Nine’s new position as the rights holder to the Australian Open tennis – which runs for two weeks in summer and often brings in large audiences – doesn’t begin until 2020.

In recent months, Seven has appointed Ten Big Bash League executive Dave Barham as head of cricket, as well as announcing former captain Ricky Ponting would join its commentary team.


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