Cricket World Cup: David Warner credits his wife for first century since ball tampering ban
David Warner credited his wife Candice for his return to international cricket on the day he scored his first century for Australia since serving a year-long ban for ball tampering.
Warner's 107 helped Australia to a World Cup win over Pakistan, almost three months after his ban expired.
"My wife is my rock," he said. "She is determined, disciplined and selfless.
"She got me out of bed in those first 12 weeks, she got me running and training as hard as I could."
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Warner, then the Australia vice-captain, was involved in a plot with captain Steve Smith and batsman Cameron Bancroft to use sandpaper on the ball during South Africa's tour in March 2018.
The ball-tampering came in a bad-tempered series where Warner was goaded by South Africa fans about Candice and a previous encounter she had with New Zealand rugby player Sonny Bill Williams before she met the cricketer.
Speaking in April 2018, Candice, a former triathlete, even went so far as to blame herself for her husband's actions.
"To have people staring and pointing and laughing at me, to have the songs made up about me - I would have to sit there and cop that," she said.
"I feel like it's all my fault and it's killing me."
Though banned from playing international and state cricket, Warner was able to play in local competitions and Twenty20 tournaments.
And he said it was Candice that motivated him to prepare properly for life away from the international game.
"I have great support at home, my wife and my kids," he said. "She is a strong woman.
"She got me prepared for the other formats of that game that I did play. She nailed hard work into me."
Warner's ton against Pakistan arrived in his fourth full international since his ban expired.
It came after an eventful weekend. He was first left shaken when a shot he played in practice hit Jaykishan Plaha on the head and left the net bowler in need of hospital treatment.
Then, Warner struggled in the defeat by India at The Oval on Sunday, ponderously taking 84 balls to make 56.
When he reached three figures in Taunton, he celebrated with his trademark leap and punch on the air. He made prolonged gestures to the Australia dressing room and looked to the sky.
He said that there was a time when he wondered if he would ever get the opportunity to make another century for Australia.
"That was always that going through my mind and that is what drove me to keep as fit as I could and score as many runs as I could in T20 tournaments and grade cricket.
"Going through those tough times, regrouping, put me in the best position to come back into international cricket. I did everything I could. I really knuckled down and trained my backside off.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity and I'm really looking forward to what's ahead of us. I'm pumped to be back."
Like Smith, Warner has received a hostile reception from crowds during the World Cup but, borrowing a phrase from his former captain, said the boos are "water off a duck's back".
"We don't really hear that when we're out there. We're out there to do a job, which for me is to try to score runs and have a lot of energy in the field.
"I've had it my whole career. It eggs us on a lot to try to score more runs."