Australia coach Justin Langer on Sunday likened David Warner to unbeaten boxing great Floyd Mayweather, calling him an “absolute ripper” who will never get to be a leader thanks to the 2018 ball-tampering scandal.
The then skipper Steve Smith and Warner, who was his deputy, were handed one-year bans for their involvement in the infamous incident in the Test match against South Africa in March 2018.
“Look, I support him. Having David Warner in the team is like having Floyd Mayweather in the team,” Langer told Channel Nine television’s ‘Sports Sunday’, referring to the American icon who remained undefeated in his 50-bout professional career and owned 15 major world titles in five weight divisions.
Warner, who was identified as the instigator of the 2018 incident which prompted a review of the “win-at-all-cost” Australian cricket culture, was slapped with a lifetime captaincy ban. Smith, however, is now eligible for a leadership role.
“Officially he’s been banned from captaining Australia again,” Langer said.
“I don’t think he’ll be a captain of Australia again because of where we’re at, but I love having him in the team. He’s an absolute ripper,” he added.
After his return to the game, Warner has proved himself to be a valuable player to the team, that struggled in his and Smith’s absence.
The 33-year-old delivered a superb World Cup campaign followed by a sensational Australian Test summer which included his career-best 335 not out.
Langer, who took up the position of the coach of the national team a couple of months after the scandal, said Warner has been a fantastic addition to the side since he has come back from the ban.
“I love him. He talks it up, he is a great player by any calculations and he’s been fantastic in the team over the last two years,” Langer said.