David Warner will return a better player and be the best batsman at this summer’s World Cup according to Shane Warne who believes his own 12-month ban for failing a drugs test reinvigorated his career.
Warner and Steve Smith were suspended for 12 months for their part in the ball tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket last year. Their bans end on March 28 and they will return to high profile cricket next month when they play in the IPL. They will be reintegrated in the Australian squad for World Cup practice matches against New Zealand in May before heading to England for the tournament and then the Ashes.
Warne was suspended in 2003 for taking a banned diuretic as he recovered from a serious shoulder injury. He returned fitter and fresher and his best years followed with 166 wickets in 27 Tests in 2004-05. The return of Warner and Smith in England will be one of the most eagerly anticipated factors in a World Cup and Ashes this summer.
“All I can go on is experience having a year off myself. The next four years were the best I ever had. I was hungry for the game. My body and mind were fresh and it is amazing how excited you are to play again,” Warne told Telegraph Sport. “The little things that used to make you say ‘here we go again’ don’t matter anymore. You get excited just going to the nets again because you have taken it for granted in the past so I think they will come back better than they were. They are going to come out and destroy attacks and I back David Warner to be the player of the World Cup.