Melbourne - Australia's limited overs skipper Aaron Finch
insists the divisive David Warner will be welcomed back "with open
arms" despite on-going fallout on Friday from tell-all ball-tampering
interviews by Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft.
Bancroft and Smith have caused a storm by opening up in
recent days over the scandal as they re-emerge into public life, with their
comments widely interpreted as deflecting all blame onto Warner.
A number of high-profile figures have blasted them for dragging
the issue back into the spotlight and detracting from the ongoing third Test
against India in Melbourne.
Some believe the relationship between Bancroft and Warner is
now untenable while local reports have suggested opposition to Warner remains
within the Australian team.
But Finch, the one-day and Twenty20 captain, insisted they
would all be welcomed back.
"It's nine months ago and I think in the next three
months when Davey and Steve are ready to be allowed to come back and play
cricket for Australia and their states I think from my point of view, they'll
be welcomed back with open arms," he said.
"I think that whatever has happened has happened,"
"The punishment has been dealt. They've been working
really hard off the field to meet every criteria and gone above and beyond
everything that has been asked of them to come back and play international
Finch's support is seen as important after Cricket Australia
chief Kevin Roberts was quoted by Sydney's Daily Telegraph as saying he would
canvass the dressing room to see if they were wanted.
Smith and Warner were banned for a year from international
and domestic cricket for their part in using sandpaper to alter the ball in
South Africa in March.
Bancroft was suspended for nine months and is due to make
his return this weekend.
Former Australian internationals Ricky Ponting and Dean
Jones have both criticised Smith and Bancroft for giving the interviews, and
Allan Border also weighed in.
"My personal view is I would have preferred the
interviews weren't done," he told Fox Sports.
"They're just rehashing a lot of stuff we already know
and what was the point of it all? They could have just admitted they're all
responsible for doing the wrong thing."
Bancroft confirmed in his interview that Warner asked him to
alter the ball while Smith admitted he failed as a captain by turning a blind
eye to what went on.
Warner has not responded to the latest revelations.