‘She kept me going’: Warner praises wife Candice after World Cup ton
Somerset: David Warner has opened up about his year in international exile, declaring wife Candice had been his driving force through the "tough" times and that he feared he would never again get the opportunity to make an international century.
Warner did just that in thumping 107 off 111 deliveries in Australia's 41-run win over Pakistan at the County Ground – his first international ton since the Ashes' Boxing Day Test of 2017-18.
It was his 15th one-day international century and gave him the opportunity to wash away the frustration of a 12-month Cricket Australia-imposed suspension for his role in the ball-tampering scandal of Cape Town in March last year.
For the first time since his emotional press conference upon returning to Sydney from South Africa, Warner directly addressed those issues and the tumult that followed as he reflected on the brutal first three months of his ban.
"I was always coming back to international cricket if selected. The thing that kept me going was my wife and my kids. Got great support at home, my family. And my wife is just, she's just my rock. She's unbelievable. She's determined, disciplined, selfless," he said.
"And I hold a lot of credit to her. She's a strong woman. And she got me out of bed a lot in those first sort of 12 weeks, and got me back running and training hard as I could, and prepared me for the other formats of the game I was playing and I did play. So it was just maintain my level of fitness and just hard work. And she really nailed that into me."
Warner will be able to reunite with Candice, pregnant with their third child, and their two daughters Ivy Mae and Indi Rae in London on Thursday for the first time since the Australians landed in England for the World Cup.
Candice, who is due to give birth next month in the lead-up to Australia's final pool match, against South Africa in Manchester, took to social media to declare how proud she was of her husband.
"The smile says it all. What a way to bring up your 15th ODI century. Proud is an understatement!! Well done my love. This is just the start," she wrote on Twitter.
There still remain many unanswered questions about Cape Town, including why the CA investigation had such a narrow focus.
Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft, who were also banned for their roles in one of the darkest days of Australian cricket, gave controversial interviews which each aired on Boxing Day shedding some light. Bancroft said he had no choice but to follow Warner's suggestion that he should use sandpaper and tamper with the ball when it failed to reverse swing during the third Test.
Smith has said he was only guilty of knowing Warner and Bancroft had devised a plan of some kind and that he walked by in the dressingroom and didn't do anything to stop it.
Warner has had several opportunities to explain his side of events, with his manager James Erskine knocking back lucrative deals, but the man himself said he had only wanted to remain focused on resuming his career.
"That was my own thing. I was just focusing on playing the next game that I was playing in, training as hard as I could. I didn't need to say anything. What was said was said back in those press conferences. And now it's about looking forward," Warner said.
The former vice-captain is not allowed to ever again hold an official leadership role because of his suspension and Erskine has said there are no plans to challenge that.